Small and compact swallow, with quick flicking wingbeats. Brown above and white below, with a contrasting dark chest band. Note the relatively long, notched tail and narrow, pointed wings. Breeds in colonies; builds nest by tunneling into sandbanks. Can be seen over any open habitat including fields, marshes, and ponds, often in mixed flocks with other species of swallows. Compare with other small brownish swallows where overlaps occur in its extensive global range.