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Philippine Swiftlet - BirdForum Opus

Aerodramus mearnsi

Identification

A small Swiftlet (10.5cm) with dark brown upperparts, rump uniform, paler mid-brown underparts, and slightly forked tail.
Field identification very difficult due to high degree of similarity with realted Swiftlets.

Similar Species

  • Uniform Swiftlet. In hand can be separated by tarsus feathering, smaller and more decurved bill, less forked tail and white tips of rami of rump feathers.

Distribution

Endemic to the Philippines. Found on Luzon, Mindoro, Palawan, Negros, Bohol and Mindanao.
Uncommon and rare, however the difficulties in identification make it difficult to estimate the population correctly.

Taxonomy

Forms a superspecies with Moluccan Swiftlet, Mountain Swiftlet, White-rumped Swiftlet and Australian Swiftlet. Also placed in the Uniform Swiftlet superspecies.
Like other Aerodramus Swiftles this species is often placed in Collocalia.
Monotypic.

Habitat

Submontane Forests.

Behaviour

Food and feeding unknown, but believed to be similar to other Swiftlets of the superspecies group. Takes various insects in flight.
Breeding season on Mindoro is in May. The nest is a shallow saucer, made with moss glued together with saliva which in this case gets hard. Lays four eggs. The nest was found 700m inside a cave, so this species may be capable of echolocation.
Resident, no movements known.

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