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Seram Swiftlet - BirdForum Opus

Photo by James Eaton
Manusela, Seram Indonesia, January 2011
Aerodramus ceramensis


A small Swiftlet (10cm), very similar to Uniform Swiftlet and Glossy Swiftlet and very difficult to identify in field.

  • Black-brown upperparts
  • Rump uniform or slightly paler, sororum has distinct grey-white rump band
  • Pale-brown underparts
  • Forked tail
  • In hand: extensively white rami on rump feathers


Found in Indonesia in the central Moluccas (Buru, Boano, Seram and Ambon); sight records from Obi (in northern Moluccas) also believed to be this species. Common in parts of its range.


It was formerly included in Moluccan Swiftlet, together with Halmahera Swiftlet and Sulawesi Swiftlet.
Forms a superspecies with the latter two and Philippine Swiftlet, Mountain Swiftlet, White-rumped Swiftlet and Australian Swiftlet. Also considered to be conspecific with White-rumped Swiftlet. Relationsships in this group are still poorly understood.
Like other Aerodramus Swiftles this species is often placed in Collocalia.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Moist lowland forest and montanes. Generally higher than other Swiftlets.


Feeds on insects, taken in flight. Noted to feed above canopy while Glossy Swiftlet is feeding beneath canopy level.
Not much information about nesting. Believed to make a nest with vegetable matter, attached to a cave wall.
Thought to be resident or nomadic within range.


  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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