Hirundo tahitensis ssp. ‘Henderson Island’

Henderson Island Swallow (Hirundo (tahitica) ssp.)

The Tahitian Swallow (Hirundo tahitica J. F. Gmelin) (see depiction below) today is restricted to the islands of Mo’orea and Tahiti, Society Islands, but once was probably more widespread as is indicated by numerous subfossil bones that were found at cave sites on the northern beach of Henderson Island, Pitcairn Islands.

The Henderson may well have been a distinct and endemic species, what is known for sure is that the bird bred on Henderson Island, since both, adult as well as juvenile bones were found. [1]



[1] Graham M. Wragg; Marshall I. Weisler: Extinctions and new records of birds from Henderson Island. Notornis 41: 61-70. 1994


Tahitian Swallow (Hirundo tahitica J. F. Gmelin); nominate form

Depiction from: ‘Richard Bowdler Sharpe; Claude W. Wyatt: A monograph of the Hirundinidae or the family of swallows. London: printed for the authors 1885-1894’

(public domain)


edited: 17.10.2020