Several raptors (Falconiformes) are frequent predators of swifts; known species include: peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus), Eurasian hobbies (Falco subbuteo), sooty falcon (Falco conoclor) and bat hawks (Macheiramphus alcinus). Some known nest predators include crabs (Decapoda), snakes (Serpentes), red-winged starlings (Onychognathus mario), spotted eagle owls (Bubo africanus), fiscal shrikes (Lanius collaris) and crows (Corvis spp.). There is also a species of cave cricket (Rhapidophora oophaga) in Borneo that feeds on both the young and eggs of swiftlets.
Swifts will often mob aerial predators such as raptors if they approach a flock. Because swifts are vulnerable to predators when not in flight, they choose very specific nest sites that are inaccessible to most terrestrial predators (such as behind waterfalls or inside caves and crevices).
- raptors (Falconiformes)
- peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus)
- Eurasian hobbies (Falco subbuteo)
- sooty falcons (Falco conoclor)
- bat hawks (Macheiramphus alcinus)
- crabs (Decapoda)
- snakes (Serpentes)
- red-winged starlings (Onychognathus mario)
- spotted eagle owls (Bubo africanus)
- fiscal shrikes (Lanius collaris)
- crows (Corvus)
- cave crickets (Rhapidophora oophaga)
- Cink, C. 1990. Snake predation on chimney swift nestlings. Journal of Field Ornithology, 61(3): 288-289.