The Golden swallow is a small swallow found in the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. It was once native to Jamaica but was last seen there in 1989. The upper parts of an adult bird, including the sides of the head, the cheek, and the chin, are iridescent bronze. The ear coverts and lores are duller, and the forehead, crown, and nape are more green. This contrasts with the golden or coppery-bronze coloring of the mantle, shoulders, back, rump, and upper tail-coverts. Its underparts are white, with dusky bronze streaks on the flanks. The legs and the feet are dark brown and the bill is black. The female is similar, although some of the underparts, specifically the breast and occasionally the throat and under tail-coverts, are mottled grey-brown. The juvenile, like the female, is mottled grey-brown. The juvenile also has less glossy plumage and the sides of its head are a dusky grey.
Golden swallows are native to the island of Hispaniola. They inhabit hills of the interior of the island and prefer open country, but will occasionally be seen in forests and over towns. Golden swallows are restricted to patches of montane forest that consists primarily of Hispaniolan pine.
Golden swallows are diurnal; they generally start to forage at dawn, with activity increasing in the morning and decreasing during the afternoon. They forage in most habitats except the forest. They are aerial insectivores and usually forage low to the ground, either by themselves or in small groups. It is not typical of them to forage at heights above 20 m (66 ft), and especially rarely they feed above 30 m (98 ft). Golden swifts have a soft, repeated two-note call, often described as a 'tchee-weet'.
Golden swallows breed between April and July. They usually nest in pairs and may occasionally nest in colonies. Golden swallows usually build their deep cup nest in dead snags, especially those of the Hispaniolan pine, or in holes created by woodpeckers, primarily the Hispaniolan woodpecker. They also nest in caves, under the eaves of houses, and in recently burned stands. The nests are made with fine vegetable fibers like silk, cotton, and pappus, with the seeds being broken off from the fibers. The birds usually line them with cotton, silk, and feathers. The female lays 2 to 4 white to creamy white eggs with a little spotting and incubates them for 17-20 days. The chicks usually fledge 24 to 27 days after they hatch.
The Golden swallow is considered to be a vulnerable species due to the small, fragmented, and decreasing population and range. Its population is declining, mostly because of shifting agriculture and predation by introduced mammalian species.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of the Golden swallow is 1,500-7,000 mature individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are decreasing.