Family Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Least Concern

Fairy Martin (Petrochelidon ariel)


French: Hirondelle ariel German: Arielschwalbe Spanish: Golondrina ariel

Collocalia Ariel


, 1842,

#R, New South Wales, Australia


See P. fluvicola. Birds from NW Australia described as race conigravi, but indistinguishable from those in rest of range. Monotypic.


Australia (excluding Groote Eylandt, much of SW, and Tasmania); scattered winter records in New Guinea.

Descriptive notes

11 cm; 9–14 g. Has forehead, crown and nape rufous-brown, face grey-brown, back glossy deep blue with few whitish streaks, rump dull white or buffish-white; wings and... read more


Song is a high-pitched twittering; contact call “chrrr” or “prrrt-prrrt”.


Open areas, such as open woodland and grassland, usually near water.

Food and feeding

Diet includes mayflies (Ephemeroptera), termites (Isoptera), bugs (Hemiptera), beetles (Coleoptera), flies (Diptera), hymenopterans (... read more


Aug–Feb; two broods, sometimes three. Socially monogamous, but some extra-pair paternity (in one study, 29% of 70 broods and 14% of... read more


Some post-breeding movements. Partial migrant in SE Australia; large movement to N parts of... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Widespread and common, especially in E. May have benefited from increased availability of artificial nest-sites and increase in amount of grassland... read more

Recommended citation

Turner, A. (2020). Fairy Martin (Petrochelidon ariel). 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).