Grey-breasted martin

The grey-breasted martin (Progne chalybea) is a large swallow from Central and South America.

Grey-breasted martin
Gray-breasted Martin. Progne tapera (28288549947)
In the Darien Province, Panama
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Hirundinidae
Genus: Progne
P. chalybea
Binomial name
Progne chalybea
(Gmelin, 1789)

Taxonomy and etymology

The subspecies and their distributions are:[2]

The southern subspecies migrates north as far as Venezuela during the southern hemisphere's winter, and the nominate form also undertakes local movements after the breeding season.


Adult grey-breasted martins are 18 cm (7.1 in) in length, with a forked tail and relatively broad wings, and weigh 39 g (1.4 oz). Adult males are a glossy blue-black with the grey-brown throat, breast and sides contrasting with the white lower underparts. Females are duller than the male, and juveniles have dull brown upperparts.



The grey-breasted martin nests in cavities in banks and buildings, or old woodpecker holes. Normally 2–4 eggs are laid in the lined nest, and incubated for 15–16 days, with another 22 to fledging.


Grey-breasted martins are gregarious birds which hunt for insects in flight. Their call is a gurgly chew-chew, similar to that of the closely related Caribbean martin. The latter species is slightly larger, and has more contrasting underparts.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Progne chalybea". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Gill, F.; Donsker, D., eds. (2014). "IOC World Bird List (v 4.2)". doi:10.14344/IOC.ML.4.2. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  • Turner, Angela; Rose, Chris (1989). Swallows & Martins: An Identification Guide and Handbook. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 978-0395511749.
  • Hilty, Steven L. (2003). Birds of Venezuela. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5.
  • ffrench, Richard; O'Neill, John Patton; Eckelberry, Don R. (1991). A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd ed.). Ithaca, N.Y.: Comstock Publishing. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2.

External links

Abufari Biological Reserve

Abufari Biological Reserve (Portuguese: Reserva Biológica do Abufari) is a biological reserve in the state of Amazonas, Brazil.

It is mostly lowland tropical rainforest, with very diverse flora and fauna.

Aracuri-Esmeralda Ecological Station

Aracuri-Esmeralda Ecological Station (Portuguese: Estação Ecológica de Aracuri-Esmeralda) is an ecological station in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

It is in the Atlantic Forest biome.

List of least concern birds

As of May 2019, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 8405 least concern avian species. 76% of all evaluated avian species are listed as least concern.

No subpopulations of birds have been evaluated by the IUCN.

This is a complete list of least concern avian species evaluated by the IUCN. Where possible common names for taxa are given while links point to the scientific name used by the IUCN.

Mangrove swallow

The mangrove swallow (Tachycineta albilinea) is a passerine bird in the swallow family that breeds in coastal regions from Mexico through Central America to Panama. It has blue-green upperparts, blackish flight feathers, a white rump, a black tail, and white underparts. It can be identified by the supraloral white streak, the white line near its eye, which only occurs in two other species of Tachycineta: the violet-green swallow and the white-rumped swallow. The sexes, although similar in plumage, differ slightly in size. The juveniles have grey-brown upperparts and white-washed underparts. This swallow's song is generally described as a soft trilling, with a rolled jeerrt call, and a sharp alarm note.

The mangrove swallow is very territorial when breeding, much like the related tree swallow. Its nest is normally built in a hole or crevice near water and less than 2 metres (7 ft) above the ground. This species usually feeds alone when breeding, but will feed in groups when not. It normally forages closer to the nest when hunting for its chicks, but will go much further when foraging for itself. In between foraging attempts, it is frequently seen perching near water. It is an aerial insectivore and eats unusually large prey for its size.

With an estimated population of at least 500,000 individuals, the mangrove swallow is classified as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Its numbers are decreasing, although not fast enough for it to be classified as vulnerable. Little is known about the predation of this species, although it is a host of Sternostoma hirundinis, a type of nasal mite. It has also been known to lose nests both to termites and black flies.


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.

Sibley-Monroe checklist 15

The Sibley-Monroe checklist was a landmark document in the study of birds. It drew on extensive DNA-DNA hybridisation studies to reassess the relationships between modern birds.

Soldado Rock

Soldado Rock or Soldier's Rock, formerly known as Soldado Island, is a small island in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. It is located in the Gulf of Paria 10 km off Icacos Point in Trinidad and north of the Venezuelan mainland. The island was originally a possession of the Venezuelan government, but became part of the territory of Trinidad and Tobago in 1942. The island is a wildlife sanctuary since being declared in 1934.


The swallows, martins and saw-wings, or Hirundinidae, are a family of passerine birds found around the world on all continents, including occasionally in Antarctica. Highly adapted to aerial feeding, they have a distinctive appearance. The term Swallow is used colloquially in Europe as a synonym for the barn swallow. There are around 90 species of Hirundinidae, divided into 19 genera, with the greatest diversity found in Africa, which is also thought to be where they evolved as hole-nesters. They also occur on a number of oceanic islands. A number of European and North American species are long-distance migrants; by contrast, the West and South African swallows are non-migratory.

This family comprises two subfamilies: Pseudochelidoninae (the river martins of the genus Pseudochelidon) and Hirundininae (all other swallows, martins and saw-wings). Within the Old World, the name martin tends to be used for the squarer-tailed species, and the name swallow for the more fork-tailed species; however, there is no scientific distinction between these two groups. Within the New World, "martin" is reserved for members of the genus Progne. (These two systems are responsible for the sand martin being called "bank swallow" in the New World.)

Swallows (family: Hirundinidae)


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