Red Sea Swallow Petrochelidon perdita


Justification of Red List Category
This species is known from only one specimen. As such, there is insufficient information available for an assessment of its threat status and the species is classified as Data Deficient.

Population justification
This species is only known from its type specimen and as such no population estimates are available.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Distribution and population

Hirundo perdita is known only from the type-specimen, found dead in May 1984 at Sanganeb lighthouse, north-east of Port Sudan, Sudan (Fry and Smith 1985). It is judged most likely to be found in the Red Sea hills of Sudan or Eritrea, or possibly (because two pale-rumped swallows were seen flying out over the Red Sea towards Jedda, just before the discovery of the type) in the coastal hills of western Saudi Arabia north of Jedda (Madge and Redman 1989). Unidentified cliff swallows, possibly of this species, have been seen at Lake Langano (c.20 birds) and in Awash National Park (3-8 birds) in the Rift Valley in Ethiopia, plus three more recent sites (P. Robertson in litt. 1998), although they are more likely to represent an undescribed taxon. There is no other information on the species's range, population size and trend, preferred habitat and potential threats.


The species' preferred habitat is unknown, but its morphology is similar to the `cliff swallow' group of species, whose other members prefer open country (e.g. grassland or mountainous areas), often near to cliffs and/or water and/or human habitation.



Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known

Conservation Actions Proposed
Where possible survey Red Sea hills of Sudan and Eritrea as well as the coastal hills of western Saudi Arabia north of Jedda (Madge and Redman 1989).


15cm. Only known from the type specimen. Steely blue crown, blackish forehead, lores, throat and upper breast, restricted white chin and grey rump.  Similar spp Most closely resembles South African Cliff Swallow Hirundo spilodera but has rump grey not rufous and blackish throat.


Text account compilers
Shutes, S., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Westrip, J., Martin, R

Robertson, P.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Petrochelidon perdita. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/03/2023.