Family Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Least Concern

Brown-chested Martin (Progne tapera)


French: Hirondelle tapère German: Braunbrustschwalbe Spanish: Golondrina parda

Hirundo Tapera


, 1766,

America = eastern Brazil (possibly Pernambuco)


Has sometimes been separated in Phaeoprogne because of lack of blue in plumage, similarity of sexes, slender bill, weaker feet, less deeply forked tail and greater feathering on tarsus; genetic data#R indicate that it is sister to all other members of present genus. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. t. tapera (Linnaeus, 1766) – N South America from N & E Colombia, Venezuela and the Guianas S to extreme N & NE Brazil, also W of Andes in SW Ecuador (S from Guayas) and NW Peru (Tumbes).
  • P. t. fusca (Vieillot, 1817) – Bolivia (except SW) and C Brazil S to C Argentina (Mendoza, La Pampa, Buenos Aires) and Uruguay; migrates N to N South America and Panama.
  • Descriptive notes

    16 cm; 30–40 g. Nominate race has crown and upperparts sandy brown, wings and tail darker brown, tail slightly forked; chin, throat and abdomen white, indistinct brown... read more


    Song is harsh and guttural with series of gurgling sounds; contact call “chu-chu-chip”. read more


    Open or semi-open areas with trees, often near water, also human habitations, including towns.... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet includes flies (Diptera), beetles (Coleoptera), bees, wasps and ants (Hymenoptera), termites (Isoptera), bugs (Hemiptera), dragonflies... read more


    Apr–Jun in Venezuela, Mar–May in Colombia; Nov–Mar in S. Solitary or in small loose groups (of eight bridges along one... read more


    Nominate race resident, S race (fusca) migratory; forms large post-breeding flocks of... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally common; uncommon in Ecuador. In S of range, may be limited by availability of hornero nests. Large flocks roosting on buildings are... read more

    Recommended citation

    Turner, A. (2020). Brown-chested Martin (Progne tapera). 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 21 February 2020).