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|Gray-breasted Martin (Progne chalybea) Swallows (Hirundinidae)|
|Gråbrystet Svale Golondrina Pecho Gris|
2012-11-18 Playa Miramar, Manzanillo, Colima (Col), Mexico
Here you clearly see the deeply notched tail which separates it from Northern Rough-winged Swallow. But the size difference is also considerable Gray-breasted being larger. Purple Martin from below shows lesser cleft and fine streaks on the body.
2016-02-29 Lo de Marcos, Nayarit (Nay), Mexico
A selection of birds as I remember it.
In the area this martin is easiest to confuse with Sinaloa Martin, which can be seen during migration. The overall structure of the two species is more or less the same. They are both powerful birds that do not flicker as much through the air as other swallows, e.g. Northern Rough-winged Swallow and Barn Swallow.
Sinaloa normally has a darker head area with a more strongly demarcation toward the brightly white breast and belly. Their tail clefts are very similar, and as can be seen in this collection the perceived depth changes constantly with the angle of observation. This also goes for the darkness to the head, why it is always a good idea to get continued looks before you rush into a conclusion the two between.
Purple Martin is a rarer migrant or breeder in this area. Males of this species should be unmistakable, but the females can appear similar. Normally it shows markings to the undertail coverts plus a pale collar and, if visible, fine streaks on the lower belly. The structure of the Purple is also different, more elongated wings, which will probably be the first thing to notice, if you have the two species together.