Distribution in the Americas
Tumbes Swallow occurs from southwestern Ecuador to northwestern Peru, near to the coast in dry thorn-scrub forests with cavity-rich trees. Year-round resident.
In Peru, the southernmost known site is the type locality (Chepen, La Libertad), from which region there are few or no recent records. In fact, the species was very rarely encountered at all by ornithologists between its intial discovery in the 19th century, and the late 20th century, when it was discovered to be fairly common in northwestern Peru (Schulenberg and Parker 1981), and also to occur in a restricted area in adjacent Ecuador near Zapotillo, Loja (Robbins et al. 1997, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a).
Tumbes Swallows breed in cavities most often in Proposis trees in arid regions of northwestern Peru and southwestern Ecuador. Among congeners, Tumbes Swallows differ in their use of areas lacking perennial bodies of water. In Santuario Historico Bosque de Pomac, where overgrazing has caused very little undergrowth to remain, Tumbes Swallows hawk insects over vast dust plateaus, resting on branches in bushes and trees from 1-6 m. Also forages over dry scrub and agricultural fields (Schulenberg and Parker 1981, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a, Schulenberg et al. 2007). The forests in which Tumbes Swallow breeds is a threatened habitat in Peru, as forests are cleared for firewood, agriculture, grazing, and human settlements. See Conservation.