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Blue-and-white Swallow Pygochelidon cyanoleuca

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



The Blue-and-white Swallow feeds in small groups over open areas, often at fairly high heights (Garrigues and Dean 2007). Loose flocks or individuals circle, catching insects, while employing more fluttering and manueuvering than other long-winged migrant swallows (Stiles and Skutch 1989). The swallow feeds primarily over open ground, up to 25 m. In good weather, they tend to stay closer to open ground, but in wet weather,  also will feed heavily over water and glide more than usual (Turner 1983). Feeding peaks in mid-morning are likely associated with good feeding conditions (Turner 1983).  Blue-and-white Swallows frequently feed close to livestock, catching insects that the livestock disturb.  They rests on exposed twigs or wires (Skutch 1952).


The Blue-and-white Swallow expresses high levels of territoriality at the nest, chasing and fighting intruders. It may nest alone or in loose groups, as a result of availability of nest sites (Turner and Rose 1989).

Sexual Behavior

It is believed that the monogamous Blue-and-white Swallows may remain with their mate throughout the year (Skutch 1952).  The pair sleeps in its own cranny or roost each night.  This cranny is then used as the nest site. 

Social and interspecific behavior

During the breeding season, the Blue-and-white Swallow remains with its mate.  There is evidence that it may remain with its mate throughout the year (Skutch 1952).  Generally, the swallows feed individually or in small loose flocks (Turner 1983).  In migratory patagonica, may migrate together in large flocks (Turner and Rose 1989).


No information available.

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.