Chilean swallow

The Chilean swallow (Tachycineta leucopyga) is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae. It breeds in Chile and Patagonia, migrating north as far as Bolivia, Paraguay, and Rio Grande do Sul.

Chilean swallow
Andorinha-chilena (Tachycineta leucopyga)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Hirundinidae
Genus: Tachycineta
T. leucopyga
Binomial name
Tachycineta leucopyga
(Cabanis, 1850)
Tachycineta meyeni distribution map
  • Tachycineta meyeni

Taxonomy and etymology

The new genus Tachycineta was created for this group of swallows by German ornithologist Jean Cabanis in 1850.[2] The current genus name Tachycineta, is from Ancient Greek takhukinetos, "moving quickly", and the specific meyeni commemorates Prussian botanist and collector Franz Meyen.[3] Some consider the species name to be leucopyga, which is what the species name originally was.[4] This species, along with the white-rumped swallow, T. leucorrhoa, form a superspecies. This species is monotypic.[5]


The Chilean swallow is about 13 centimetres (5.1 in) in length and weighs 15–20 grams (0.53–0.71 oz). It is glossy blue-black above and white below with a white rump.[4] Its wings and tail are black, with white tips on its inner secondaries and its tertials. Their underwing coverts and auxiliaries are both grey. The Chilean swallow's bill and legs are black.[6] The sexes are alike, and the juveniles are duller and browner.[5]

It is similar to the white-rumped swallow, but lacks the white forehead of that species and has bluer upperparts and grey underwing-coverts. In addition to this, the breeding ranges of the two have almost no overlap.[5][4]


This swallow is native to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Falkland Islands, Paraguay, and Uruguay. It is vagrant to South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. This swallow can also be found in Peru, but its origin is uncertain.[1] Its breeding range is from the Atacama Desert in Chile and most of Argentina to the southern tip of South America. It is a year-round resident to the northern part of its range, but it is known to be migratory in the southern part. It is not well known where this population winters, but it seems to winter in northern Argentina, southern Brazil, Uruguay, and possibly Bolivia.[4]



This species has been seen to nest in both artificial and natural cavities, usually near water. They are usually solitary, although they will occasionally nest in loose groups if nest sites are near each other. Their nests are made from mud or dry grass and are lined with feathers.[5][4]

This swallow is a seasonal breeder. It usually breeds from September and sometimes early October, especially near the tip of South America, to February. In Chile, it usually raises two to three broods.[5][4]

The Chilean swallow usually has a clutch of four to six white eggs. The eggs usually measure 17.8 mm–21 mm × 13 mm–14.3 mm (0.70 in–0.83 in × 0.51 in–0.56 in) and usually weigh around 2 g (0.071 oz).[5][4]

After the breeding season, it is found that the Chilean swallow forms flocks.[5][4]


These birds are insectivores, usually feeding on flying insects. They usually forage alone or in small groups. When foraging, their flight paths are low and direct.[5][4]


The Chilean swallow is evaluated to be least concern by the IUCN. The justification for this is the fact that the species is believed to have a range of about 2,180,000 km2 (840,000 sq mi), its population is increasing, and the population is not believed to be small enough to be vulnerable under the population size criterion.[1]


  1. ^ a b c BirdLife International (2012). "Tachycineta meyeni". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Cabanis, Jean (1850). Museum Heineanum : Verzeichniss der ornithologischen Sammlung des Oberamtmann Ferdinand Heine auf Gut St. Burchard vor Halberstatdt (in German). 1. Halbertstadt: Independently commissioned by R. Frantz. p. 48. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 253, 377. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Marion, Jonah Seth (2010). Schulenberg, Thomas S. (ed.). "Chilean Swallow (Tachycineta meyeni), Neotropical Birds Online". Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Turner, Angela (2013). del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew; Sargatal, Jordi; Christie, David A.; de Juana, Eduardo (eds.). "Chilean Swallow (Tachycineta meyeni)". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  6. ^ "Birding Patagonia - Chilean Swallow". Retrieved December 12, 2016.

Atticora is a genus of bird in the swallow family Hirundinidae. These species are found in South America.

It contains the following two species:

White-banded swallow (Atticora fasciata)

Black-collared swallow (Atticora melanoleuca)

Banded martin

The banded martin or banded sand martin (Riparia cincta) is a small passerine bird in the swallow family. It is an inhabitant of the African continent.

Black-and-rufous swallow

The black-and-rufous swallow (Hirundo nigrorufa) is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae.

Forest swallow

The forest swallow (Petrochelidon fuliginosa) is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae.

It is found in Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Nigeria.

Galápagos martin

The Galápagos martin (Progne modesta) is a species of bird in the Hirundinidae family, endemic to the Galápagos Islands.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland, pastureland, and heavily degraded former forest.

Grey-rumped swallow

The grey-rumped swallow (Pseudhirundo griseopyga) is a species of bird in the monotypic genus, Pseudhirundo, in the family Hirundinidae.

It is found in Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Peruvian martin

The Peruvian martin (Progne murphyi) is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae. It is found in Peru and far norther Chile.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, subtropical or tropical moist montane forest, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland, pastureland, and urban areas. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Preuss's cliff swallow

Preuss's cliff swallow (Petrochelidon preussi), also known as Preuss's swallow, is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae.


Progne is a genus of birds. The genus name refers to Procne (Πρόκνη), a mythological girl who was turned into a swallow to save her from her husband. She had killed their son to avenge the rape of her sister.


The saw-wings, Psalidoprocne, is a small genus of passerine birds in the swallow family. The common name of this group is derived from the rough outer edge of the outer primary feather on the wing, which is rough due to recurved barbs. The function of this is unknown. The birds are 11–17 cm long and black or black-and-white in colour. The genus has an African distribution and all species can be found foraging over forest and woodland.

Sinaloa martin

The Sinaloa martin (Progne sinaloae) is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae.

It breeds semicolonially in sheer cliff faces within pine-oak forests of the Sierra Madre Occidental of western Mexico. Presumed migrant records also come from Belize and Guatemala. It is assumed to winter in South America.

Southern martin

The southern martin (Progne elegans) is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae.

It is found in Argentina and southern Bolivia ; in winter it migrates to the western Amazon Basin.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, subtropical or tropical moist montane forest, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland, and urban areas.


Stelgidopteryx (Baird, 1858) is a small genus of swallows. It contains two species:

Adults of both species are brown on top with lighter underparts and a slightly forked tail. They nest in cavities but do not excavate their holes or form colonies.

These birds forage in flight over water or fields, usually flying low. They eat insects.

"Rough-winged" refers to the serrated edge feathers on the wing of this genus; this feature would only be apparent in the hand.

Streak-throated swallow

The streak-throated swallow or the Indian cliff swallow (Petrochelidon fluvicola) is a species of swallow found as Native (breeder, year-round resident or winter visitor) in South Asia in the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. It occurs as a Vagrant in the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and the Middle-east.


Tachycineta (Greek: tachýs "fast", kīnéō "move") is a genus of birds in the swallow family. There are nine described species. Its members are restricted to the Americas.

These are slender swallows with forked tails. Most species have a metallic green back, green or blue head, and metallic blue or unglossed brown wings. All have pure white underparts, and four species have a white rump.

Most Tachycineta swallows are at least partially migratory, with only golden and mangrove swallow being essentially resident. All the species use natural or disused cavities for nest sites.

Tumbes swallow

The Tumbes swallow (Tachycineta stolzmanni) is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae.

It is found in northwestern Peru and far southwestern Ecuador.

Its natural habitats are dry savanna, coastal saline lagoons, and arable land.

White-rumped swallow

The white-rumped swallow (Tachycineta leucorrhoa) is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae. First described and given its binomial name by French ornithologist Louis Vieillot in 1817, it was for many years considered a subspecies of the Chilean swallow. The species is monotypic with no known population variations. It has a white supraloral streak, or streak above its lores (the region between a bird's eye and nostrils), which can be used to differentiate it from the Chilean swallow. The lores, ear coverts, tail, and wings are black, with white tips on the inner secondaries, tertials, and greater coverts of the wings. The rest of the upperparts are a glossy blue. Its underparts and underwing-coverts are white, in addition to the rump, as the name suggests. The sexes are similar, and the juvenile is duller and browner with a dusky breast.

This species usually builds its nest in holes in trees or dead snags or under or in artificial structures like fence posts and the eaves of buildings. The white-rumped swallow is solitary and nests in distributed pairs during the breeding season. The breeding season is from October to December in Brazil and from October to February in neighboring Argentina. Usually, only one brood with four to seven eggs is laid, although a second one will occasionally be laid. The female incubates the eggs over a period usually between 15 and 16 days, with the fledging after usually between 21 and 25 days.

This swallow is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. Its natural habitats are dry savanna, pastureland, the edge of forests, and subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland. It is classified as a least-concern species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Its population is increasing and it may benefit from the increase in availability of artificial nest sites. The shiny cowbird is an occasional brood parasite of the white-rumped swallow.

Swallows (family: Hirundinidae)


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