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White-throated Blue Swallow - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: White-bibbed Swallow; Little Blue Swallow; White-chinned Swallow

Photo by Kwame Brown
Twifo Praso, Ghana, May 2017
Hirundo nigrita


12 cm (4¾ in).

  • Mostly glossy steel-blue plumage with purple sheen
  • White patch on throat
  • Black wings with purple gloss
  • Black tail with blue gloss almost square, white patches on inner webs of feathers
  • Blackish underwing-coverts

Sexes similar. Juveniles are browner and duller than adults.


Western and Central Africa: From Sierra Leone to Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin and Nigeria east to Central African Republic and DR Congo and south to northern Angola. Possibly also in extreme western Uganda.
Locally common.


This is a monotypic species.
Is sometimes considered to form a superspecies with Wire-tailed Swallow.


Found along streams and rivers in rainforests. Also in mangroves, harbours, lagoons and land spits.


Has a rapid flight with frequent banking and occasional gliding.


Feeds on insects.
Forages in pairs, sometimes in small groups.


Breeds in dry season when the river levels are low. A solitary breeder, aggressive towards intruders.
The nest is an open cup made of mud pellets and some dry grass. It's affixed under a horizontal surface on a rock, a fallen tree or a cliff. Also sometimes under a bridge or a pier. Lays 2-3 eggs.


A resident species, possibly some local movements.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved July 2014)

Recommended Citation

External Links

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