Black-capped Swallow Atticora pileata

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Hirundinidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Claudia I. Rodríguez-Flores, Carlos A. Soberanes-González, Marîa del Coro Arizmendi, and Thomas S. Schulenberg



Black-capped Swallows are aerial insectivores, and capture small arthropods on the wing. The flight of this species is rapid and "twinkling" (Marshall 1943, Howell and Webb 1995).

Black-capped Swallows roost communally, at least during the nonbreeding season, in small groups in burrows (and in other cavities?) (Wetmore 1941, Skutch 1960).


There is little information related to territoriality or density of Black-capped Swallow. Black-capped Swallow sometimes breeds in small colonies (Baepler 1962). At one site in Guatemala, most of the foraging activities of breeding adults were within 200 m 0f the nest sites (Baepler 1962).

Sexual Behavior

No information. Black-capped Swallow presumably is at least socially monogamous.

Social and interspecific behavior

Black-capped Swallow is gregarious, and usually is encountered in flocks with other members of the species; sometimes these flocks mingle with other species of swallow as well (Griscom 1932, Dickey and van Rossem 1938). Marshall (1943) described a "colony" of several hundred individuals (although it is not clear from his description whether this "colony" was a set of birds breeding at this site, or simply a large flock).


There are no reports of predation on Black-capped Swallow?

Recommended Citation

Rodríguez-Flores, C. I., C. A. Soberanes-González, M. d. C. Arizmendi, and T. S. Schulenberg (2013). Black-capped Swallow (Atticora pileata), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.