Tachycineta thalassina


The Violet-green Swallow is a very acrobatic bird that primarily forages while in flight, feeding almost exclusively on flying insects. Like other swallow species, this one lives and feeds in small flocks, sometimes mixed with other swallow species.


General: 5 to 5.5 inches in length.

Male: Irridescent green upperparts. Irridescent violet tail and rump. White underparts. White cheeks, area behind and above eye, and sides of rump. Forked tail. Small black bill.

Female: Duller than male. Does not have white area behind and above eye. Browner on head and sides of face. May have dusky throat.

Juvenile: Dull brown above and may have a hint of a gray breast band.


Open woodlands, mountains, and suburban areas.


4-5 white eggs. The eggs have a 13-14 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in 16-24 days. The nest is a cup made from grass, rootlets, and twigs, lined with feathers (not their own). The nest is built in a tree cavity, along a cliff, under building eaves, or in a nest box. Both male and female build the nest. Nests in isolated pairs or small colonies.

Observed Locations:

  • Doane Pond, Palomar Mountain
  • Robinson's cabin, Palomar Mountain
  • Cuyamaca State Park

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