The Northern Rough-winged Swallow is a small bird, mostly brown color in the upper parts and grey to white on the underparts. They are frequently seen, both flying and perched in lowlands in Costa Rica; they like to perch in utility wires. They are able to catch insects in mid air, during acrobatic performances. The Southern Rough-winged Swallow is very similar, however this species lacks the orange throat of the Southern.

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