Family Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Least Concern

Black-and-rufous Swallow (Hirundo nigrorufa)


French: Hirondelle roux et noir German: Rostbauchschwalbe Spanish: Golondrina rojinegra

Hirundo nigrorufa


, 1877,

Caconda, Angola


DNA data#R indicate that this species is sister to H. atrocaerulea. Monotypic.


Angola (Cuanza Sul S to N Huíla, E to S Lunda Norte and N Moxico) E to S DRCongo and N Zambia.

Descriptive notes

13–14 cm; 13–16 g. Distinctive. Has forehead to hindneck and upperparts glossy violet-blue, wings and tail blackish with slight gloss; outer tail feathers... read more


Song is a shrill warbling; also a strident “eeek”.


Grassland and savanna, especially seasonally flooded areas and often near water, such as streams;... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes flies (Diptera) and beetles (Coleoptera). Feeds alone or in pairs, occasionally in small groups of 4–5 individuals,... read more


Jul–Oct; single-brooded. Solitary, inter-nest distance along one river was 100 m; aggressive towards other hirundines. Aerial... read more


Resident or partial migrant. Population in NW Zambia absent from breeding sites in late Nov to... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally considered uncommon, although locally common. Common in Mwinilunga District, in Zambia; not uncommon in Angola. Potential breeding sites... read more

Recommended citation

Turner, A. (2018). Black-and-rufous Swallow (Hirundo nigrorufa). 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 13 December 2018).