Blue-and-white Swallow Pygochelidon cyanoleuca

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Hirundinidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: Ashley A. Dayer

The Blue-and-white Swallow is a common species, endemic to Central and South America. Its primarily steel-blue or violet-blue back and its white underside earn it its name, yet its most distinguishing characteristic are the contrasting black undertail coverts. This small swallow, with a slightly forked tail and shorter wings, is resident throughout most of its range, but the southern populations are migratory.

Its foraging, breeding, and nesting behaviors have been well-studied, particularly in Costa Rica and Venezuela.  It is believed to be highly adaptable, breeding in virtually any location and benefiting from human expansion in tropical areas.  Less is known about its demographics, population size and trends, and mortality factors.  This information should be prioritized as it serves as the basis for understanding population dynamics, determining conservation needs, and implementing management actions.

Song (cyanoleuca)

© Ted Parker

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Dayer, A. A. (2010). Blue-and-white Swallow (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.