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Chapman's Swift - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Anselmo d Affonseca
Amazonas, Brazil, January 2015

Includes Amazonian Swift (AKA. Mato Grosso Swift)

Chaetura chapmani


13–14 cm (5-5½ in). Darker and more heavily glossed than most other Chaetura Swifts.

  • Short square tail
  • Protruding head
  • Distinctive wing shape with hooked outer wing and bulging midwing cutting in at body
  • Glossy black upperparts with somewhat paler grey rump and uppertail-coverts
  • Uniform dark brown underparts

Similar species

Larger than Vaux's Swift and with slightly more contrast between rump and saddle and darker below (especially on throat), smaller than Chimney Swift and shows more contrast on upperparts and has a longer tail and is paler below than Short-tailed Swift


Found from Panama south to Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas, northeast Brazil and Trinidad, as well as in eastern Peru, eastern Bolivia, and western Amazonian Brazil.
A rare swift with a wide distribution, exact limits of range not well known.


Amazonian Swift was recently lumped into this species. Formerly considered conspecific with Chimney Swift and Vaux's Swift.


Two subspecies are recognized[1].


Lowland forest and secondary scrub to 1600m.



Feeds in the air on insects, in dense low cloud conditions also close to the ground.
Forages often in mixed flocks with Short-tailed Swifts, Gray-rumped Swifts, Band-rumped Swifts, White-collared Swifts and White-tipped Swifts. Also in monospecific flocks.


Breeds in the wet season from late spring to early autumn, in Trinidad from early May to early June. One known nest in Trinidad was 20 cm below the top of a cement manhole in a brushy savanna, together with nests of Short-tailed Swifts. It was a half-cup nest. May also breed in tree hollows. Lays two, possibly three eggs.


This is a resident species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved November 2016)
  3. BirdLife International

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.