The two Swallow species in India- the barn swallow and the red-rumped swallow are both important resident species of Chennai. However, one (barn swallow) can be noticed easily but the other one (red-rumped swallow) remains in the shadow.
Swallows in India:
In India, there are 15 species of swallows and martins, many of which look similar.
Red-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Streak-throated Swallowand Wire-tailed Swallow are perhaps the most common of these and are distributed in most of the country.
Among these, Red-rumped, Wire-tailed and Streak-throated Swallow are largely resident but Barn Swallow is a winter visitor to most of the country and breeds only in the Himalayas within the region.
Brightly-colored swallow with a deeply forked tail, pale orangish rump, black squared-off undertail coverts, and an incomplete orange collar.
Varies significantly across range: European and African birds have clean whitish or orangish underparts, while Asian birds are extensively streaked below; compare carefully with other “Cecropis” species where range overlaps occur.
The barn swallow(Hirundo rustica) is the most widespread species of swallow in the world.
In fact, it appears to have the largest natural distribution of any of the world's passerine, ranging over 251 million square kilometres globally.
It is a distinctive passerine bird with blue upperparts and a long, deeply forked tail.
It is found in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.
In Anglophone Europe it is just called the swallow; in northern Europe it is the only common species called a "swallow" rather than a "martin".