Tachycineta is a genus of birds in the swallow family Hirundinidae. There are nine described species all restricted to the Americas.

Tachycineta bicolor1.jpg
Tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Hirundinidae
Subfamily: Hirundininae
Genus: Tachycineta
Cabanis, 1850

see text

Tachycineta distribution map.png

These are slender swallows with forked tails. Most species have a metallic green back, green or blue head, and metallic blue or unglossed brown wings. All have pure white underparts, and four species have a white rump.

Most Tachycineta swallows are at least partially migratory, with only golden and mangrove swallow being essentially resident. All the species use natural or disused cavities for nest sites.


The genus Tachycineta was introduced by the German ornithologists Jean Cabanisin 1850 with the violet-green swallow (Tachycineta thalassina) as the type species.[1][2] The genus name is from Ancient Greek takhukinētos meaning "moving quickly".[3]

The genus contains nine species:[4]

Image Scientific name Common name Distribution
  Tachycineta bicolor Tree swallow north-central Alaska and up to the tree line in Canada and as far south as Tennessee in the eastern part of its range, California and New Mexico in the west, and Kansas in the centre
  Tachycineta thalassina Violet-green swallow central Alaska down to Mexico
  Tachycineta euchrysea Golden swallow Hispaniola and Jamaica
  Tachycineta cyaneoviridis Bahama swallow northern Bahamas: Andros, Grand Bahama, Abaco, and New Providence
Tachycineta stolzmanni Tumbes swallow northwestern Peru and far southwestern Ecuador.
  Tachycineta albilinea Mangrove swallow native to Mexico and all of Central America (Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama)
  Tachycineta albiventer White-winged swallow tropical South America from Colombia, Venezuela, and Trinidad south to northern Argentina.
  Tachycineta leucorrhoa White-rumped swallow Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay
  Tachycineta leucopyga Chilean swallow Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Falkland Islands, Paraguay, and Uruguay.


  1. ^ Cabanis, Jean (1850–1851). Museum Heineanum : Verzeichniss der ornithologischen Sammlung des Oberamtmann Ferdinand Heine, auf Gut St. Burchard vor Halberstadt (in German and Latin). Volume 1. Halbertstadt: R. Frantz. p. 48.
  2. ^ Mayr, Ernst; Greenway, James C. Jr, eds. (1960). Check-list of Birds of the World. Volume 9. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 81.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 377. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2019). "Swallows". World Bird List Version 9.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 27 August 2019.