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Biscutate Swift - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Jamfaraco
Itapiruba, Imbituba, Santa Catarina, Brazil, 30 October 2005
Streptoprocne biscutata



  • Black-brown plumage
  • White nape and white upper-breast patches
  • Fore-face paler, sometimes throat paler too
  • Long, broad wings
  • Square tail
  • Sturdy body

Similar Species

A large Swift, similar to White-collared Swift and White-naped Swift.


Found in South America. From North-eastern to South-eastern Brazil, also recorded in Paraguay and Northern Argentina.
Common and not globally threatened.



Two subspecies recognized:

  • S.b. biscutata in South-eastern Brazil (Minas Gerais to Rio Grande do Sul), Paraguay and Northern Argentina
  • S.b. seridoensis Serido in North-eastern Brazil


Usually over lowland evergreen forest, also montane evergreen forest, temperate forest and scrub.


The movements of this species are not yet fully understood and it may be a transequatorial migrant. Wintering grounds of nominate subspecies not known.


Feeds on insects, taken in flight. Like other Swifts highly gregarious and often in big flocks around waterfalls. Does not often associate with White-collared Swift.


Breeds from October to December, nesting in dry caverns. Nest is a bowl-shaped disc made of lichens, mosses and leaves.


  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.

Recommended Citation

External Links

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