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a genus of birds of the order Passeriformes. There are two species—the bank swallow and the Indian sand martin. Plumage is grayish-brown on top and white underneath. The bank swallow (Riparia riparia) is larger (body length averages 133 mm), with a brown band on its breast. It is prevalent in Europe, Asia, North America (except for the Far North), and North Africa. The Indian sand martin (R. paludicola) inhabits Africa and Southeast Asia; in the USSR it lives along the Amu Darya around Termez. The birds are migratory. They settle in colonies along the steep shores of water basins. They build their nests in burrows, which they excavate themselves and which are about 50 cm long. There are four to six eggs in a clutch. Both parents sit on the eggs for 18–22 days. Birds of this family feed on insects, which they catch on the wing.
REFERENCEPtitsy Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 6. Edited by G. P. Dement’ev and N. A. Gladkov. Moscow, 1954.
A. M. SUDILOVSKAIA