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Tahiti Swiftlet - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Tahitian Swiftlet; Polynesian Swiftlet

Aerodramus leucophaeus

Collocalia leucophaeus

artwork by noisi


With 10 cm a small Swiftlet.

  • Dark brown upperparts with grey rump
  • Grey-brown underparts
  • Long, forked tail.

Less contrast between under and upperparts then Atiu Swiftlet. Marquesan Swiftlet somehow intermediate between this species and Atiu Swiftlet and with a longer tail.


Endemic to Tahiti and Moorea in French Polynesia.
Population has declined because of predation by introduced Common Myna.


Like other Aerodramus Swiftles this species is often placed in Collocalia.
Some authors treat this species as conspecific with Atiu Swiftlet and Marquesan Swiftlet or as forming a superspecies with them. Some authors are merging this bird with Marquesan Swiftlet under the name Polynesian Swiftlet.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Wet, rocky and forested valleys at high elevations.


Feeds on insects, taken in flight. Usually seen feeding at high elevations.
It nests either in shallow depressions under overhanging rocks and coastal cliffs or caves. The nest is of vegetable matters hold together with saliva. Uncertain if species is capable of echolocation. Lays two eggs.
Resident. Records on Moorea may only be vagrants, as no indication of 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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