Family Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Least Concern

Tawny-headed Swallow (Alopochelidon fucata)


French: Hirondelle fardée German: Fuchsschwalbe Spanish: Golondrina cabecicastaña

Hirundo fucata


, 1822,





SE Peru (status unknown), N & E Bolivia and S Brazil (S from Mato Grosso, S Goiás and Minas Gerais) S to N Argentina (S to Mendoza, La Pampa and Buenos Aires) and Uruguay; also locally in N South America, mainly E Venezuela and N Brazil (N Roraima).

Descriptive notes

12 cm; 13–15 g. Has tawny-rufous top of head, darker on central crown, tawny-buff side of head, throat and breast; upperparts grey-brown, rump with paler feather edges... read more


A soft “treeb” uttered in flight.


Open areas, especially grassland, particularly near water such as marshes, ponds and streams. Up to... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes flies (Diptera), beetles (Coleoptera) and Hymenoptera. Forages in pairs or small groups, not usually with other hirundines;... read more


Sept–Nov. Solitary or in small loose groups. Nest of dry grass and feathers, placed in chamber at end of burrow, 1 m or more long, in... read more


Migratory in S. Forms post-breeding flocks, sometimes large ones (one of over 100 individuals).... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally uncommon or fairly common; rare in Peru. Limits of distribution not well known; possibly more widespread than currently realized.... read more

Recommended citation

Turner, A. (2020). Tawny-headed Swallow (Alopochelidon fucata). 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).