Taxonomy[edit source | edit]
The subspecies C. b. ocypetes is sometimes considered a full species, the Tumbes Swift Chaetura ocypetes Zimmer, 1953.
Distribution and habitat[edit source | edit]
The swift is a common resident of Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada and Saint Vincent, and in tropical South America from Panama, Colombia and the Guianas south to Ecuador, Peru and Brazil; in Brazil, the entire Amazon Basin, excluding much of the southeastern Basin. It rarely occurs over 800 m ASL even in the hottest parts of its range and in mountainous or hilly terrain it inhabits, but has been recorded as high as 1,300 m ASL. It is found in a range of habitats including savanna, open woodland, and cultivation.
Description[edit source | edit]
The Short-tailed Swift is about 10.5 cm long, and weighs 20 g. It has long narrow wings, a robust body and a short tail. The sexes are similar. It is mainly black with a pale rump and tail. It can be distinguished from related species in its range, such as the Band-rumped Swift (C. spinicauda) or the Gray-rumped Swift (C. cinereiventris) by the lack of contrast between the rump and the tail, the latter being much darker in the other species.
Behaviour[edit source | edit]
It is very gregarious and forms communal roosts when not breeding. Predation by bats at the nest sites has been suspected. The flight call is a rapid chittering sti-sti-stew-stew-stew.
Breeding[edit source | edit]
The nest is a 5 cm wide shallow half-saucer of twigs and saliva attached to a vertical surface. This is often a man-made structure like a chimney or manhole, as with its relative, the Chimney Swift (C. pelagica), but natural caves and tree cavities are also used. Up to seven white eggs (average 3 or 4) are incubated by both parents for 17–18 days. The young leave the nest in a further two weeks, but remain near it, clinging to the cavity wall without flying, for another two weeks.
Feeding[edit source | edit]
Footnotes[edit source | edit]
References[edit source | edit]
- Chantler, Phil & Driessens, Gerald (2000): Swifts: a guide to the swifts and treeswifts of the world. Pica Press, Mountfield, East Sussex. ISBN 1-873403-83-6
- Cuervo, Andrés M.; Hernández-Jaramillo, Alejandro; Cortés-Herrera, José Oswaldo & Laverde, Oscar (2007): Nuevos registros de aves en la parte alta de la Serranía de las Quinchas, Magdalena medio, Colombia [New bird records from the highlands of Serranía de las Quinchas, middle Magdalena valley, Colombia]. Ornitología Colombiana 5: 94-98 [Spanish with English abstract]. PDF fulltext
- ffrench, Richard; O'Neill, John Patton & Eckelberry, Don R. (1991): A guide to the birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd edition). Comstock Publishing, Ithaca, N.Y.. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2
- Hilty, Steven L. (2003): Birds of Venezuela. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5
- Laverde-R., Oscar; Stiles, F. Gary & Múnera-R., Claudia (2005): Nuevos registros e inventario de la avifauna de la Serranía de las Quinchas, un área importante para la conservación de las aves (AICA) en Colombia [New records and updated inventory of the avifauna of the Serranía de las Quinchas, an important bird area (IBA) in Colombia]. Caldasia 27(2): 247-265 [Spanish with English abstract]. PDF fulltext