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Swallows and Martins

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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Genera:Many: see text

The bird family Hirundinidae is a group of passerines characterised by their adaptation to aerial feeding, and known as swallows and martins. There is no scientific distinction between the two names, but the squarer tailed species tend to be called martins.

Their adaptations to hunting insects on the wing are a slender streamlined body, and long pointed wings. Like the unrelated swifts and nightjars, which hunt in a similar way, they have short bills, but a wide gape.

The feet are designed for perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base. Many species have long tails.