Violet-green Swallow

Tachycineta thalassina

Rare to Ivvavik 4

This species is rare to Ivvavik National Park. If you see this species and manage to take a photo, please upload it to iNaturalist and/or send it to us directly at You will be helping us expand the scientific knowledge of this bird.

Morphology 4

A beautiful sparrow with an emerald-green head and back with violet tints around the edges of the green, onto the wings and particularly strong violet on the top of the tail. It has a white belly that extends to the cheeks of the face and over the eye, as well as being white on the sides of the rump. Is 13.3 cm/5.25 in in length. Juveniles have no color and are grey, but still with a white belly. The colors increase as the bird ages.

Sibley, D. A. 2000. The Sibley Guide to Birds. Andrew Stewart Publishing, Inc., Toronto.

Habitat 5

Open coniferous, deciduous or mixed forest and woodland, primarily in highlands (frequently at low elevations in north); in migration and winter also meadows, fields and watercourses, more commonly in highland regions (AOU 1983). May nest in cliff crevice, natural tree cavity, woodpecker hole, crevice in building, or bird box; also reported to use old nest of cliff or bank swallow.

Trophic strategy 6

Feeds on flying insects (e.g., flies, leafhoppers, ants, wasps, bees, beetles, moths). Forages over ponds, fields, and wooded areas catching insects in flight. Occasionally may forage on ground on accumulations of insects such as midges or mayflies.

Reproduction 7

Egg dates: May-early July in south, beginning in late May in north. Clutch size typically is 4-5, sometimes 6, in north; smaller in south. Incubation, by female, lasts 13-15 days. Altricial nestlings are tended by both parents, leave nest in 23-25 days. Usually 1 brood per season, though 2 per season reported for Oregon. May nest in loose colonies if nest sites are abundant.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Len Blumin, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND),
  2. (c) Ash, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  3. (c) Yukon Conservation Data Centre, all rights reserved, uploaded by Yukon Conservation Data Centre,
  4. (c) Yukon Conservation Data Centre, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA)
  5. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  6. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  7. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),

More Info

Range Map

iNatCA Map

Animal Bird
Bird swallows
Color green, grey, violet, white