Grey-breasted martin

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Grey-breasted martin
Grey-breasted martin (Progne chalybea).JPG
In the Pantanal, Brazil
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Hirundinidae
Genus: Progne
Species: P. chalybea
Binomial name
Progne chalybea
(Gmelin, 1789)

The grey-breasted martin (Progne chalybea) is a large swallow from Central and South America.

Taxonomy and etymology[edit]

The subspecies and their distributions are:[2]

The southern subspecies migrates north as far as Venezuela during the southern hemisphere's winter, and the nominate form also undertakes local movements after the breeding season.


Adult grey-breasted martins are 18 cm (7.1 in) in length, with a forked tail and relatively broad wings, and weigh 39 g (1.4 oz). Adult males are a glossy blue-black with the grey-brown throat, breast and sides contrasting with the white lower underparts. Females are duller than the male, and juveniles have dull brown upperparts.



The grey-breasted martin nests in cavities in banks and buildings, or old woodpecker holes. Normally 2–4 eggs are laid in the lined nest, and incubated for 15–16 days, with another 22 to fledging.


Grey-breasted martins are gregarious birds which hunt for insects in flight. Their call is a gurgly chew-chew, similar to that of the closely related Caribbean martin. The latter species is slightly larger, and has more contrasting underparts.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Progne chalybea". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Gill, F.; Donsker, D., eds. (2014). "IOC World Bird List (v 4.2)". doi:10.14344/IOC.ML.4.2. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  • Turner, Angela; Rose, Chris (1989). Swallows & Martins: An Identification Guide and Handbook. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 978-0395511749. 
  • Hilty, Steven L. (2003). Birds of Venezuela. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5. 
  • ffrench, Richard; O'Neill, John Patton; Eckelberry, Don R. (1991). A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd ed.). Ithaca, N.Y.: Comstock Publishing. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2. 

External links[edit]