16 Species of Swift-Martin and Swallow Birds of India

The swifts and swallow birds are two different species from two different family, found around the world with distinctive appearance. The swallows and martins are from the same family of passerine birds while swifts, swiftlet and treeswift are different species of swift found in India.

Common Swift

The common swift from Apodidae family is a common species of bird found in India, similar to the barn swallow and house martin. Swifts are different from the swallows, martin and spend their most of lives in the air including feed and sleep.

Asian Palm Swift

Asian palm swift bird is a breeder of India from the Philippines to tropical Asia, is a bird of open country and nest on palm leaf. These swifts are also spend most of their lives in the air, like other species of swift birds.

Little Swift

The little swift are migratory and breeds on cliffs from Spain through India, build nest in buildings and return to the same site each year. This is a small species of swift found in India, found both in urban areas and at jungle cliffs, caves.

House Swift


House Swift birds are also from the family Apodidae, distributed in Southeast Asia and Japan. These birds are similar to Asian house martin, breeds around human habitation, building and temples of India.

Barn swallow


The barn swallow is a distinctive passerine bird, migrates to the Indian subcontinent, also the breeders of winter across Asia from India and Sri Lanka. Swallows are very attractive species of bird that feeds on flying insects like Swift and Martin.

Wire-tailed Swallow


Wire-tailed swallow occurs throughout India and also found in Asia, northern India population migrate further to south in winter season. The wire-tailed swallow bird is found near water and human habitation, commonly use man-made structures for nesting like bridges and buildings.


Red-rumped Swallow

The red-rumped swallow is similar in habits and appearance to barn swallows, A resident bird of India but some population of the birds are migratory. Red-rumped swallow form large breeding colonies in India, usually found over grassland and feeds on insects.

Streak-throated Swallow

The streak-throated swallow is also known as Indian cliff swallow, One of the most common species of swallow found in India and in South Asia.
Indian cliff swallow species has chestnut crown, blue glossy back and whitish front appearance.

Hill Swallow

Hill swallow is a common breeder of southern India, associated with coasts and differs from the barn swallow. The small swallow bird like other swallows and the swifts also feeds on aerial insectivores.

Dusky Crag Martin


Dusky crag martin is a small species of bird that breeds in much of the Indian subcontinent and northern parts of Thailand. The cliffs, gorges and caves are the natural breeding habitat of the dusky crag martin in India, feeds mainly on insects on the air.


Grey-throated Martin

The grey-throated martin found in the grassland and savannah of the Indian subcontinent, along with other 5 species of martin such as Nepal house martin, pale martin and Asian house martin.

Nepal House Martin

The Nepal house martin bird is a relative of Asian house martin and common house martin, feeds in flocks with other species of swallow birds and breed in the Himalayas from northwestern India.

Collared Sand Martin

The sand martin is known as collared sand martin in India, winters in Africa, America and the Indian Subcontinent. The pale martin of northern India is separate species and a migratory passerine bird from swallow family.

Crested Treeswift

The crested treeswift is a large species of treeswift and a resident breeder of the Indian subcontinent, They are also found in Sri Lanka, from Myanmar to Cambodia. Crested treeswift from Hemiprocnidae family is closely relative to the true swift birds, distributed from India and South East Asia.

White-rumped Spinetail

The white-rumped spinetail is a lesser known species of swift bird found in the forest of India, Always seen flying over the water. White-rumped needletail mostly found in the Western Ghats of India and also called as white-rumped needletail swift.

Indian Swiftlet

Indian swiftlet is a small swift species, resident breeder of India and hills of Sri Lanka. The Indian edible-nest swiftlet along with edible-nest swiftlet are two species of swift family bird and nest used in nest soup.

Few more species of swift, swiftlet, Spinetail, needletail swallow and martin bird found in India also include Eurasian crag martin,Common house martin,Asian house martin,pale martin and Striated swallow.

Differences Between Swift Swallow and Martins?

By family both swift and swallow are different, swift birds are small, black or grey in color while swallow are mostly larger than swift with some blue color at back. These similar looking birds are highly aerial that not only eat in air but also drink, sleep and mate during flight and on the wing!

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