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Southern Rough-winged Swallow - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 18:40, 25 November 2023 by Sbarnhardt (talk | contribs) (Add subspecies ''aequalis'' image by njlarsen to Variation)
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Subspecies uropygialis
Photo © by petersheikhli
Mindo, Ecuador, March 2004
Stelgidopteryx ruficollis


Juvenile, subspecies S. r. aequalis
Photo © by Dabs
Diego Martin, Trinidad, 22 Junem 2021

13 cm (5 in)

  • Brown upperparts
  • Black wings and tail
  • Pale grey rump
  • RRufous or cinnamon throat and upper breast
  • Yellowish-white lower underparts
  • Slightly forked tail

They have serrated edges to the outer primary feathers, hence the name "rough-winged".


Subspecies aequalis
Photo © by NJ Larsen
PN (National Park) Tayrona, Magdalena, Colombia, 31 August 2023

The birds in Central America often give an impression of a rump of pale cinnamon color rather than the gray seen further south.

Similar species

Subspecies ruficollis
Photo © by Celso Paris
Sorocaba, Sao Paulo, South East Brazil, 2016

It is similar in appearance to the Northern Rough-winged Swallow which is more uniform in colour, particularly on the rump but also throat.


Photo © by Glen Tepke
Fort San Lorenzo, Panama, 20 January 2004

From Honduras through Central and South America to Trinidad, Peru, northern Argentina, and Uruguay (but not Chile).



Four subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • S. r. uropygialis:
  • S. r. decolor:
  • S. r. aequalis:
  • S. r. ruficollis:


Open areas and forest clearings, especially near water. Generally below 1000 m.



They nest in cavities such as holes in banks or walls, or disused kingfisher and jacamar nests. These cavities are lined with grass for the clutch of 3-6 white eggs. They are incubated by the female for 16-18 days requiring another 13 days to fledging.


Their diet consists of insects such as flies, beetles, bugs and flying ants. They generally feed alone or in small groups.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Ridgely & Gwynne 1989. Birds of Panama. Princeton Paperbacks. ISBN 0691025126
  3. Turner, A. (2020). Southern Rough-winged Swallow (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.srwswa1.01

Recommended Citation

External Links

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