Cave Swallow

Petrochelidon fulva

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Swallows (Hirundinidae)

Code 4

CASW

Code 6

PETFUL

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Cave Swallow is currently rated as Least Concern, downgraded from Lower Risk in 2000. The range of this species is large, covering an area of more than 300,000 square kilometers. The population of the Cave Swallow is nearing 9 million individual birds. The Cave Swallow is native to the Caribbean, North America and Central America. There is not currently any reason to be believe that the Cave Swallow population is in danger or facing decrease.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Cave Swallow: Small swallow (Southwest pelodoma), with steel-blue upperparts, white underparts, rufous wash on breast and sides. Forehead is chestnut-brown and throat and rump are buff. Tail is square. Swift, graceful flight, alternates several rapid, deep wing beats with long curving glides.


Range and Habitat

Cave Swallow: This species breeds in throughout much of Texas, extreme southeastern New Mexico, and rarely in southern Arizona. It is a resident in northern Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, and parts of the West Indies. Spends winters in tropics. Preferred habitats include open country near caves and cliffs.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"chu-chu", "zweih"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Cave Swallows often have their nests in places with minimal light, so it appears they locate their nests by flying past the nest site and then turning toward the nest, offering them a better vantage point.
  • One of the largest colonies makes its home in Carlsbad Cavern in New Mexico, where they co-exist with Mexican free-tailed bats.
  • Their population growth may be related to the use of cement I-beams in highway construction. The undersides of these beams provide an environment similar to the traditional limestone cave nesting sites.
  • A group of swallows has many collective nouns, including a "gulp", "herd", "kettle", "richness", and "sord" of swallows.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Cave Swallow

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Samira Belous

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X