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Blue-and-white Swallow - BirdForum Opus

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Subspecies N.c.cyanoleuca.
Photo by Robert Scanlon
La Suiza Nature Reserve, near Pereira, Colombia, May 2004
Pygochelidon cyanoleuca

Notiochelidon cyanoleuca


11-12 cm

  • Dark blue upperparts
  • White underparts
  • Blackish underwings
  • Glossy black crissum


  • Brown above
  • Buff below
  • Tail less markedly forked
Young bird
Photo by Daniesser
Belo Horizonte/MG Brazil, November 2007


The amount of black in the crissum varies geographically


Central and South America:
Central America: Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and rare in south eastMexico, only breeding in Panama and Costa Rica
South America: Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina

Southern populations are long distance migrants that breed in Argentina and migrate to northern South America and Central America in southern winter.


The species is also placed in genus Notiochelidon by some authorities[2].


Subspecies patagonica
The dark breast mark is probably water, as the bird had just been drinking
Photo by njlarsen
Rio Cipresos, Chile, November 2009

Three subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • N. c. cyanoleuca:
  • N. c. peruviana:
  • Coastal Peru (La Libertad to Arequipa)
  • N. c. patagonica:


Common and widespread, especially in agricultural and urban areas upto 4000m. At least in Chile always connected with water.



Both sexes build a shallow nest from straw. The clutch consists of 6 white eggs; incubation (15 days) and feeding the young is carried out by both parents until they fledge at about 26 days. There may be two broods.


Their diet consists mostly insects caught aerially, including ants, wasps and flies.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Ridgely & Gwynne 1989. Birds of Panama. Princeton Paperbacks. ISBN 0691025126
  4. Richard ffrench. 1991. A guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago. Comstock/Cornell Paperbacks. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2
  5. Howell & Webb, 1995. A guide to the birds of Mexico and northern Central America. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198540124
  6. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved February 2015)
  7. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links

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