The red-breasted swallow is like a giant red-rumped swallow, 24 cm long, with blue upperparts other than a reddish collar and rump. The face and underparts are reddish, but the underwings are white with dark flight feathers. The tail is forked, and slightly longer in the male. Juveniles are duller and browner, with less contrast. It can be distinguished from mosque swallow by the slightly smaller size and longer tail streamers. The dark crown extends below the eye. The flight is slow and buoyant.

Habitat and Distribution

. It breeds in equatorial Africa, although most common in the east. It is partially migratory, following the rains beyond the breeding range in the wet season.This is a bird of dry open country. In more wooded areas it is replaced by the similar mosque swallow.


These birds feed on insects caught in the air.


It builds a closed mud nest with a tubular entrance in a cavity or under bridges and similar structures. It will use deserted buildings, tree holes or caves, and has benefited from the construction of railway bridges and similar structures. Three eggs is a typical clutch.