Brown-chested Martin (Progne tapera)

Brown-chested Martin

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Hirundinidae | [latin] Progne tapera | [UK] Brown-chested Martin | [FR] Hirondelle tapere | [DE] Braunbrust-Schwalbe | [ES] Golondrina Parda | [NL] Bruinborstzwaluw


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Notiochelidon tapera
Progne tapera SA widespread, also Panama
Progne tapera fusca
Progne tapera tapera

Physical charateristics

The Brown-chested Martin is the only martin in the region which does not have blue feathers being a dull grey/brown above. This colour extends to the breast band which gives the bird its English name.

Listen to the sound of Brown-chested Martin

[audio: Martin.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 16 cm size max.: 17 cm
incubation min.: 14 days incubation max.: 15 days
fledging min.: 27 days fledging max.: 15 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 5  


South America : widespread, also Panama


Its natural habitats are dry savanna, subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland, rivers, and heavily degraded former forest.


Builds nest in a hole in a termite nest, bridge, earth bank or building. It is made of dry grass and line with grass. Clutch 3-5 eggs incubated for by female for about 2 weeks. Both parents feed nestlings which fledge after about 4 weeks.

Feeding habits

Forages by flying low over land or water catvching insects like bees, wasps and ants. Will fly higher up to feed on swarms of termites.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Brown-chested Martin status Least Concern


Phaeoprogne tapera fusca, the race breeding in South America migrates northward during austral winter, some birds even reaching the Caribbean. Nominate race (resident south to Amazonia and north east Brazil). Fusca breeds from south. Bolivia and south-central Brazil southward, where it is present from September to April. Also Costa Rica and Panama ( in austral winter).

Distribution map

Brown-chested Martin distribution range map

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