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Philippine Spinetail - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Philippine Spinetailed Swift; Philippine Needletail

Mearnsia picina

Chaetura picina


With 14cm a large Needletail from the Philippines

  • Very long wings, distinctively hooked on outerwings and bulging midwing
  • Large head
  • Short square tail with retrix spines
  • Black plumage with white throat and white patches on underwings


Endemic to the Philippines. Found in the South and Central parts (Mindanao, Samar, Biliran, Cebu, Negros and Leyte).
Uncommon and probably extinct on Cebu.


Formerly placed in genus Chaetura.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Presumably lowland forest


Feeds on insects, taken in flight. Usually seen at high elevation, single or in small groups.
Nothing known about breeding.


  1. Clements, J. F., P. C. Rasmussen, T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, A. Spencer, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2023. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2023. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2023. IOC World Bird List (v 13.2). Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.13.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/

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