Family Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Data Deficient

African River Martin (Pseudochelidon eurystomina)


French: Pseudolangrayen d’Afrique German: Rotaugenschwalbe Spanish: Avión ribereño africano

Pseudochelidon eurystomina


, 1861,





Coastal Gabon (Port Gentil area and Gamba) and coastal Congo (Conkouati Reserve#R), and DRCongo (upper and middle R Congo between Lukolela and Basoko, and lower R Ubangi). Migrates between the two breeding areas.

Descriptive notes

14 cm. Plumage is mostly blue-black or purple-black, with green sheen on back; tail black and square, central pair of feathers slightly pointed; sooty-brown under­wing-... read more


Song is a jingling noise given during displays; flight call described as “keerr” or... read more


Forested rivers, coastal savanna. Feeds high over forest and along rivers. Roosts in reedbeds or in... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly flying ants (Hymenoptera) recorded in analyses of stomach contents; also takes lycaenid butterflies, moths and other small... read more


Eggs and nestlings in Feb–Mar in DRCongo; breeding activities in Sept–Nov in Gabon and Republic of Congo. Colonial, colony... read more


Migrates between the two breeding areas. Present in DRCongo mid-Dec/Jan to Apr/May; main passage... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Data Deficient. Breeding area possibly more extensive than originally thought; only recently discovered near Libreville (Gabon)... read more

Recommended citation

Turner, A. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). African River Martin (Pseudochelidon eurystomina). 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 on 22 February 2020).