Family Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Least Concern

Preuss's Swallow (Petrochelidon preussi)


French: Hirondelle de Preuss German: Rostschläfenschwalbe Spanish: Golondrina de Preuss
Other common names: Preuss's Cliff Swallow

Lecythoplastes preussi


, 1898,

Sanaga River near Edéa, Cameroon


See P. rufigula. Monotypic.


Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, E Guinea and S Mali E to Nigeria, Cameroon and SW & S Central African Republic, also NW & NE DRCongo.

Descriptive notes

12 cm; 12–14 g. Has glossy deep blue crown and ear-coverts, rufous patch behind eye, upperparts glossy deep blue with grey-white streaks, rump creamy buff; wings and... read more


Noisy twittering song; a “prrp-prrp” uttered in flight and a “pseep” alarm... read more


Savanna and cultivation, usually near cliffs and rivers.

Food and feeding

Diet includes Hymenoptera (flying ants). Feeds in often large flocks; mixes with other hirundines and swifts (Apodidae). Forages sometimes... read more


At end of dry season, mainly Feb–Jun; Nov–Jul in Mali; May–Jun, Dec–Jan and probably also Feb–Apr in Ghana;... read more


Resident or partial migrant. Forms large flocks and disperses after breeding. Movements poorly... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Rare to locally common; irregularly distributed. May have benefited from creation of new artificial nest-sites, such as culverts and bridges, which... read more

Recommended citation

Turner, A. (2020). Preuss's Swallow (Petrochelidon preussi). 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 24 February 2020).