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Swallow-winged Puffbird - BirdForum Opus

Nominate subspecies
Photo © by Francisco Paludo
Presidente Figueiredo, AM, Brazil, 12 July 2017

Alternative names: Swallow-wing; Swallow-wing Puffbird; Swallow-winged Puffbird

Chelidoptera tenebrosa


14–15 cm (5½-6 in)

  • Glossy blue-back overall plumage
  • White rump and lower back
  • Cinnamon belly
  • White undertail coverts
  • Short tail and broad wings


Subspecies C. t. pallida and C. t. brasiliensis are paler and have more white on the belly.


South America: found in Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil



There are 3 subspecies[1]:

  • C. t. tenebrosa:
  • C. t. brasiliensis:
  • C. t. pallida:


For breeding they seem to prefer open areas with sandy soil and scattered bushes.


Usually seen perched in the open high on dead branches along riverbanks, often in pairs or small groups


They dig an oblique tunnel in sandy soil or earth to serve as its nest. Clutch is one or two eggs.


Their main diet consists of slow moving flying insects including Hymenoptera and Coleoptera


Twittering song often given in flight; common call is high clear tsi-tsi-tsi




  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Rasmussen, P.C. & Collar, N. (2019). Swallow-winged Puffbird (Chelidoptera tenebrosa). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/55987 on 7 July 2019).
  4. Swallow-winged Puffbird (Chelidoptera tenebrosa), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/swwpuf1

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.