Family Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Least Concern

Pied-winged Swallow (Hirundo leucosoma)


French: Hirondelle à ailes tachetées German: Scheckflügelschwalbe Spanish: Golondrina alipinta

Hirundo leucosoma


, 1837,

West Africa


In past, sometimes separated with H. megaensis and H. dimidiata in Hemicecrops. Monotypic.


Senegambia, Guinea, NW Sierra Leone, S Mali, N Ivory Coast, S Burkina Faso, SW Niger and Ghana E to C Nigeria.

Descriptive notes

12 cm. Distinctive. Has forehead to hindneck and upperparts glossy steel-blue, large white patches on inner greater upperwing-coverts, inner secondaries and tertials; tail... read more


Not very vocal; “chut” contact call.


Wooded savanna, forest clearings and rivers; also around human habitations, including towns.

Food and feeding

Details of diet not known. Feeds alone or in pairs, occasionally in small groups; also associates with other hirundines. Forages low down,... read more


Apr/May–Jun. Solitary. Nest built by both sexes, taking 15–30 days, a shallow open cup made of mud, lined with dry grass and... read more


May be resident with some post-breeding movements in some areas; partial migrant in others. In some... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally scarce to uncommon, sometimes locally common. Distribution irregular. Has possibly benefited locally from its extensive use of buildings as... read more

Recommended citation

Turner, A. (2020). Pied-winged Swallow (Hirundo leucosoma). 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 27 February 2020).