Family Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Least Concern

Forest Swallow (Petrochelidon fuliginosa)


French: Hirondelle de forêt German: Bronzeschwalbe Spanish: Golondrina selvática

Lecythoplastes fuliginosus


, 1925,

Lolodorf, southern Cameroon


Affinities unclear; has been considered distinct from others of genus on account of differences in plumage coloration, bill shape, nesting habits (solitary), nest shape and eggs (usually unspotted), but these may be adaptations to forest environment. Monotypic.


SE Nigeria (Oban Hills), W Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Recently discovered in N Angola (Uíge Province), where status unknown#R.

Descriptive notes

11 cm. Plumage is almost entirely blackish-brown; crown black with blue gloss, chin and throat rusty brown; tail slightly forked. Distinguished from most Psalido­... read more


Not very vocal; soft song; also a “wheet” uttered in flight and a “pitchri”. read more


Lowland forest; forages in open areas, clearings, and around villages.

Food and feeding

Details of diet not known. Feeds usually in pairs or small groups, sometimes with other swallows. Flight fast and fluttering, with frequent... read more


Poorly known. Eggs in Apr–Jun and young in Jan and Nov in Cameroon; immature in Jul in Gabon. Apparently solitary, but few records.... read more


Probably largely sedentary. Apparently an irregular migrant in Gabon; passage individuals recorded... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in Cameroon and Gabon Lowlands EBA. Status unclear, as poorly known. Not uncommon in Cameroon; rare... read more

Recommended citation

Turner, A. (2020). Forest Swallow (Petrochelidon fuliginosa). 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).