Tree Martin (species: Petrochelidon nigricans) in Mungo NP (Gaia Guide)
Petrochelidon nigricans
Tree Martin

©Tom Tarrant: Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans)

©Helenabella: Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans) alighting on a branch
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Hirundinidae
Genus Petrochelidon
Species Petrochelidon nigricans



Distinguishing features

It has a shallowly forked tail. The adult has an iridescent blue back and crown, brown wings and tail, a rufous forehead and a whitish rump. The underparts are white.

The sexes are similar, but young birds are duller and browner, with a paler forehead and pale fringes to the back and wing feathers. (Wikipedia)


  • Up to 14 cm (Length of specimen)


  • Wingspan data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

It breeds in Australia, mostly south of latitude 20°S, and in Timor. It is migratory wintering through most of Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia east of the Wallace Line and the Solomon Islands. It is a vagrant to New Zealand, where it has bred, and New Caledonia.

It is a bird of open woodland, preferably with large trees to provide nest holes. It is increasingly common in urban and suburban areas. (Wikipedia)


They are frequently seen above tall eucalyptus trees catching aerial insects above the canopy, but will also feed on insect swarms low over water. (Wikipedia)

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