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Himalayan Swiftlet - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by kctsang
Singapore, 7 January 2008
Aerodramus brevirostris

Collocalia brevirostris
Includes: Indochinese Swiftlet


13–14 cm (5-5½ in); a quite large Swiftlet.

  • Forked tail
  • Dark brown upperparts
  • Rump band paler (brevirostris) or slightly paler (innominatus)
  • Underparts uniform pale grey
  • Tarsi feathered, white rami


rogersi lacking white rami and tarsus feathering


Himalayas (India, Nepal, Bhutan) and mountains of NE India and S China to Myanmar, N and W Thailand, N Laos and Vietnam.
Wintering south to Indochina and the Malay Peninsula to Singapore and possibly Sumatra.
Recorded on Andaman Islands.
Common in some parts of its range, uncommon in China.


Like other Aerodramus Swiftles this species is often placed in Collocalia.
Volcano Swiftlet is often regarded as subspecies of this species. Linked by some authors with Whitehead's Swiftlet.


Two subspecies[1]:


Usually over mountains, prefering wooded river valleys. Also lowlands and cultivated area.



Feeds on various insects, taken in flight. Gregarious, usually in flocks up to 50 birds or more. Often seen together with other Swifts or Swallows.


Breeding season from April to June. Breeds in colonies on vertical cliffs or in caves, capable of echolocation. Bracket-shaped nest build with vegetable matters, hold together with saliva. Lays two eggs.


Partial migrant. Small part of population migrating. Due to difficulty of identification data not clear.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2019)

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