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Great Dusky Swift - BirdForum Opus

Cypseloides senex


With 18cm a large Cyspeloides Swift.

  • Plumage brown with paler forehead and paler rump
  • Long broad wings
  • Bulky body
  • Square tail, sometimes slightly rounded


Photo by Fritz73
Iguazu NP, Misiones, Argentina], 2003

Found in South America. Northern Argentina (Misiones), Central and Southern Brazil and Eastern Paraguay. Also recorded in North-Eastern Bolivia where it may breed. Unconfirmed sightings in Peru.

Sightings of this species are almost guaranteed along the lower trail at Iguazu Falls in Argentina.
Common in most part of its range and not globally threatened.


This is a monotypic species[1].

Placed by some authorities in genus Aerornis, sometimes together with White-naped Swift.


Found around waterfalls which it uses for breeding and roosting. From lowlands up to 1000m.


Clings to vertical walls next to, or behind active waterfalls in small colonies. Like other Swifts a gregarious species, feeding usually high over the forest canopy, often together with White-collared Swift.


Feeds on insects, taken in flight.


Breeds in colonies, near or even behind waterfalls. Unlike other species the Great Dusky Swift also breeds in direct sunlight. The nest is a disc-shaped conem made of moss and pebbles, hold together with mud.


Possibly resident. Some authors suggest transequatorial migration, more study needed.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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