Also known simply as the Swallow-wing, this species is the sole species of Chelidoptera, and is widespread across the lowlands (generally below 1000 m) of the northern two-thirds of South America east of the Andes, including in the northern Atlantic Forest biome. It is a very distinctive and fairly common bird, most often encountered perched high on a dead branch along a riverbank, or on a telephone wire, and is typically observed in pairs, which are sometimes found in direct proximity to the neighboring pair. The birds regularly sally forth to seize insects in flight. Their overall dark plumage contrasts with the whitish or rufous belly and white rump. The species’ relative abundance and small bill often confuse the less knowledgeable observer into thinking that the Swallow-winged Puffbird is not a member of the Bucconidae.