Violet-green swallow

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Violet-green swallow
Tachycineta thalassina -San Luis Obispo, California, USA -male-8 (1).jpg
Male in California, USA
Tachycineta thalassina -San Luis Obispo, California, USA -female-8 (2).jpg
Female in California, USA
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Hirundinidae
Genus: Tachycineta
Species: T. thalassina
Binomial name
Tachycineta thalassina
(Swainson, 1827, Real del Monte, Hidalgo, Mexico)

The violet-green swallow (Tachycineta thalassina) is a small North American swallow.

Their breeding habitat is semi-open areas in western North America from Alaska to Mexico. They nest in cavities in a tree or rock crevice, sometimes forming small colonies.

They migrate in flocks to Central and northern South America.

These birds often forage in flocks, usually flying relatively high but sometimes flying low over water. They eat insects including mosquitoes, butterflies, mayflies and moths.


Adults are velvet green on their upperparts with white underparts and a forked tail; they have white patches on the side of the rump. The head is usually more coppery or brownish than the back, and the rump is a glossy violet color. In adult males, the white throat area extends behind and above the eyes; adult females are duller. Immature birds are brown on the upperparts.


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