Family Puffbirds (Bucconidae)

Least Concern

Swallow-winged Puffbird (Chelidoptera tenebrosa)


French: Barbacou à croupion blanc German: Schwalbenfaulvogel Spanish: Buco golondrina
Other common names: Swallow-wing

Cuculus tenebrosus


, 1782,



Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. t. pallida Cory, 1913 – NW Venezuela (Zulia)#R.
  • C. t. tenebrosa (Pallas, 1782) – Venezuela (except NW), E Colombia and the Guianas S to E Ecuador, E Peru, Brazil (except SE) and N Bolivia.
  • C. t. brasiliensis P. L. Sclater, 1862 – coastal SE Brazil.
  • Descriptive notes

    14–15 cm; 30–41·5 g. Sooty-black overall with some bluish iridescence above; lower back to uppertail-coverts white; wings long and pointed, tertials large... read more


    Twittering song often given in flight; calls include “tsi-tsi-tsi” and high clear... read more


    Optimum breeding habitat appears to be open areas with sandy soils and scattered bushes surrounded... read more

    Food and feeding

    Takes relatively slow-moving, small to medium-sized flying insects, including Hymenoptera (Apidae, Meliponinae, Formicidae), Coleoptera (... read more


    Jan–Jun and Nov in Venezuela; Jul–Dec and Mar–Apr in Surinam; Aug–Nov in French Guiana. Nest in oblique tunnel dug... read more


    Presumably resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Best characterized in general as locally common, since it occurs patchily within its range, according to habitat availability. In Brazil, common in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Rasmussen, P.C. & Collar, N. (2020). Swallow-winged Puffbird (Chelidoptera tenebrosa). 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 7 April 2020).