Family Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Least Concern

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)


French: Hirondelle bicolore German: Sumpfschwalbe Spanish: Golondrina bicolor

Hirundo bicolor


, 1808,

New York, USA


See T. albilinea. One record of hybridization with Petrochelidon pyrrhonota. Monotypic.


N & C North America from W & C Alaska and Canada (N Yukon, NW & S Mackenzie, N Saskatchewan and Manitoba E to NC Quebec, C Labrador and Newfoundland) S in USA to S California, N Oregon, E Nevada, N Arizona, N New Mexico, Texas (irregular), N Alabama, N Georgia and North Carolina (casual in NE Louisiana and Mississippi); winters mainly S USA coasts and West Indies S to Panama.

Descriptive notes

12–14 cm; 17–25·5 g. Male is glossy blue-green above, wings and tail blackish, tail shallowly forked; underparts white, underwing-coverts grey-brown.... read more


Large vocal repertoire: “dawn song” is a repetition of a few phrases sung around dawn... read more


Open areas, especially near water, such as lakes, marshes and ponds; requires trees with suitable... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly insects, also molluscs, spiders; some fruits. In samples taken throughout North America, diet consisted of 40% flies (Diptera), 14%... read more


Laying mainly early May to mid-Jun, earlier in S of range than in N, fledging mid-Jun to Jul; single-brooded. Socially monogamous, but 0... read more


Migratory. Large post-breeding flocks, sometimes hundreds of thousands in roosts. Normal winter... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Total population estimated at c. 20,000,000 birds. Abundant in E Canada and NE USA (New England and Adirondack Mts). Since 1980,... read more

Recommended citation

Turner, A. (2020). Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor). 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 20 February 2020).