Data for:
Sabal Palm Sanctuary (LTC 042)
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Passeriformes > Hirundinidae

Cuban Martin

Progne cryptoleuca

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Identification

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A graceful aerial feeder found over a wide variety of open habitats, especially near water, including marshes and towns. Often chooses exposed perches including power and telephone lines in villages. Commonly found in flocks of up to twenty birds, sometimes mixing with other swallows and martins. The adult male is entirely glossy purple-blue and is inseparable in the field from male Purple Martins. The male Caribbean Martin can be distinguished by its bright white belly. Female and immature Cuban Martins resemble females and immatures of both Purple and Caribbean Martin. Purple Martin in such plumages can be identified by a scaly breast pattern and often fine streaks on the belly, which is lacking on female and immature Cuban Martins. Female Cuban Martins are probably not safely separable from Caribbean Martin, though on average the Cuban Martin has more restricted brown on chest. Note that Caribbean and Purple Martins are not present in this species’ range from March to September, which can help eliminate confusing species. Calls include a harsh “churr,” a buzzy “zwick-zwick,” and a musical buzzy burbling.

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Neotropical Birds

Life histories of all species breeding in Mexico, Central America, and South America