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Brown-chested Martin Progne tapera

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Hirundinidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors needed...

The Brown-chested Martin is a common inhabitant of grasslands and other open habitats from Colombia south to Argentina.  All populations of Brown-chested Martins have sandy upperparts and crown, white underparts and an indistinct brown breast band.  The southern subspecies, fusca, also has a string of dusky marks down the center of the breast, and so often can be identified in the field. Brown-chested Martins can be distinguished from the similar Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia) by their much larger size.  With a diet of flying insects, Brown-chested Martins forage by flying low and fast over grassland or open water.  The southern subspecies fusca is migratory, and forms large post-breeding flocks of hundreds of thousands of birds.  The southern populations of the Brown-chested Martins migrate as far north as Panama.

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© Paul A. Schwartz

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

Recommended Citation

Brown-chested Martin (Progne tapera), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: