Family Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Least Concern

Congo Sand Martin (Riparia congica)


French: Hirondelle du Congo German: Kongouferschwalbe Spanish: Avión del Congo
Other common names: Congo Martin

Cotile congica


, 1887,

Manyanga, lower River Congo, DRCongo


May be derived from R. riparia. Monotypic.


R Congo and lower R Ubangi, on Congo–DRCongo border. Recorded also along R Sangha, in Congo, but status uncertain.

Descriptive notes

11 cm. Has grey-brown head and upperparts, dark brown wings and tail, tail almost square; upper breast light brown, rest of underparts white; underwing-coverts dark brown.... read more




Riverine, but also feeds over forest.

Food and feeding

Details of diet not known. Flight fast and fluttery, with rapid shallow wingbeats. Will feed with other swallows, especially R. riparia... read more


When river level low, exposing sand; breeds in Feb–Mar near Lukolela. Colonial; sometimes nests near Pseudhirundo griseopyga... read more


Probably resident, although some individuals caught near Mbandaka, in DRCongo, thought to be... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common to abundant within its limited range, but few seen along R Ubangi. Recorded also along R Sangha, in PRCongo, but status there... read more

Recommended citation

Turner, A. (2020). Congo Sand Martin (Riparia congica). 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).