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Gray-breasted Martin - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Progne chalybea)
An individual showing very white underparts
Photo © by luisrock62
Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 2004
Progne chalybea


16–18 cm
Upperparts are shiny metallic dark blue while the throat and middle of the breast are grayish-brown and the belly and crissum are white.


There is a large variation in the color of the underside, from individuals that look almost white to some with much and widespread grey-brown. Beyond what can be seen on this page, look for variation in the images in the Birdforum gallery (link below).


An individual showing darker underparts
Photo © by Jamfaraco
Itapirubá/Imbituba-SC, Brazil, February 2005

The Gray-breasted Martin is distributed from Central America through most of South America south to central Argentina but excluding the Andes south of Colombia.

Accidental vagrant to Texas (two 19th century records).


Photo © by Fritz73
Buenos Aires City, Argentina, 1 November 2018


This species has three subspecies[1]:

  • P. c. warneri:
  • Coastal western Mexico (Sinaloa to Chiapas)
  • P. c. chalybea:
  • P. c. macrorhamphus: the subspecies which averages whitest on the underside


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



Nests in crevices and under the eaves of houses.


Their main diet appears to be flying ants, butterflies and moths.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Lagasse, B. (2020). Gray-breasted Martin (Progne chalybea), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.gybmar.01

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