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Vaux's Swift - BirdForum Opus

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Photo by Glen Tepke
Santa Cruz, California, USA, July 2006
Chaetura vauxi


10.7 to 11.2 cm

  • Dusky black head, upperparts and wings
  • Grey brown underparts, rump and tail coverts
  • Paler grey throat (whiter in northern birds)

Sexes similar Juveniles: dusky bases to the throat feathers


North, Central and South America
North America: Canada, British Columbia, Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Washington
Central America: Mexico, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama
South America: Venezuela


C. v. andrei is now again regarded as full species, Ashy-tailed Swift.


Six subspecies are recognized:

  • C. v. vauxi:
  • C. v. gaumeri:
  • South-eastern Mexico (Yucatán Peninsula) and Cozumel Island
  • C. v. tamaulipensis:
  • Eastern Mexico (south-western Tamaulípas and south-eastern San Luis Potosí)
  • C. v. richmondi:
  • C. v. ochropygia:
  • C. v. aphanes
  • Northern Venezuela (coastal ranges, from Lara and Yaracuy east to Sucre and Monagas)

An additional subspecies warneri is generally considered invalid[1].


Mountains and foothills, mainly above 700 m, forests and towns.



The cup-shaped twiggy nest is built in a tree hole or cliff crevice. The clutch consists of 3 white eggs.


Includes flying insects, such as beetles, wasps, termites and flying ants.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.