Family Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Least Concern

Andean Swallow (Orochelidon andecola)


French: Hirondelle des Andes German: Andenschwalbe Spanish: Golondrina andina

Hirundo andecola

d’Orbigny and Lafresnaye

, 1837,

La Paz, Bolivia


Previously placed in monospecific Haplochelidon, or in Petrochelidon or Hirundo; has sometimes been included in Stelgidopteryx, and vocalizations similar, but lacks “serrated” edge of outer primary. DNA data#R strongly indicate that present species belongs in a genus with O. murina and O. flavipes. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • O. a. oroyae (Chapman, 1924) – C Peru.
  • O. a. andecola (d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1837) – Andes in S Peru, extreme N Chile (Arica, Tarapacá), C & S Bolivia and NW Argentina (Salta, Jujuy).
  • Descriptive notes

    14 cm; 14–19 g. Has crown and upperparts glossy blue-black, rump light brown; wings and tail brownish-black, tail almost square; underparts grey-brown, whiter on... read more


    Song is a brief, harsh “trrrt”; also a contact call “trui”.


    Open mountainous country, breeding near ravines, cliffs or human habitations; forages over open... read more

    Food and feeding

    Dietary details not known; aerial insects. Feeds alone or, more usually, in small groups of up to c. 20 individuals; flock of c. 100... read more


    Possibly Sept–Oct in Peru and Sept–Dec in Argentina; Dec–Mar in Bolivia. In loose groups; one was of 3–4 nests in a... read more


    May make some post-breeding movements. At one site in Peru, was present in Sept–Oct but... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common within relatively limited range. Several thousand recorded at Laguna Tacahua, in Peru. Rather poorly known species.

    Recommended citation

    Turner, A. (2020). Andean Swallow (Orochelidon andecola). 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 26 February 2020).