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Atiu Swiftlet - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Cook Swiftlet, Cook Islands Swiftlet, Sawtell's Swiftlet

Aerodramus sawtelli


10cm a small Swiftlet.

  • Black-brown upperparts with pale grey rump
  • Pale grey-brown underparts, darkest on undertail-coverts
  • Relatively long, forked tail

Similar Species

Very similar to Tahiti Swiftlet and Marquesan Swiftlet.


Endemic to Atiu Island in the Cook Islands Archipelago in the South Pacific.
Very small population and a very small range make this species vulnerable.


Like other Aerodramus Swiftles this species is often placed in Collocalia.
Some authors treat this species as conspecific with Tahiti Swiftlet[2] and Marquesan Swiftlet or as forming a superspecies with them. Others believe it may be a subspecies of White-rumped Swift.


Recorded over forest and open areas.




Not much data about food and feeding. Known to forage slowly through the forest canopy.


Breeds between September and April in colonies in the Kopeka caves. The nest is bracket or cup-shaped and made of coconut crown fibre, held together with a little saliva. Lays two eggs.


  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Avibase

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.