Grey breasted Martin (Progne chalybea)

Grey-breasted Martin

[order] Passeriformes | [family] Hirundinidae | [latin] Progne chalybea | [UK] Grey-breasted Martin | [FR] Hirondelle chalybee | [DE] Graubrustschwalbe | [ES] Golondrina Pechigris | [IT] Rondine pettogrigio | [NL] Grijsborstpurperzwaluw


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Progne chalybea LA widespread
Progne chalybea chalybea
Progne chalybea macrorhamphus
Progne chalybea warneri

Physical charateristics

Adult Gray-breasted Martins are 18 cm in length, with a forked tail and relatively broad wings, and weigh 39g. Adult males are a glossy blue-black with the grey-brown throat, breast and sides contrasting with the white lower underparts. Females are duller than the male, and juveniles have dull brown upperparts.

Listen to the sound of Grey-breasted 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.: 18 cm
incubation min.: 15 days incubation max.: 18 days
fledging min.: 25 days fledging max.: 28 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 5  


The nominate race P. c. chalybea breeds from Mexico through Central America south to central Brazil, and on Trinidad. P. c. macrorhamphus breeds further south in South America to central Argentina.


It is found in towns and semi-open areas especially near water


The Gray-breasted Martin nests in cavities in banks and buildings, or old woodpecker holes. 2-4 eggs are laid in the lined nest, and incubated for 15-16 days, with another 22 to fledging.

Feeding habits

Gray-breasted Martins are gregarious birds which hunt for insects in flight. Their call is a gurgly chew-chew, similar to that of the closely related Caribbean Martin. The latter species is slightly larger, and has more contrasting underparts.


This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 15,000,000 km

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