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White-chinned Swift - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Gerald Friesen
East Andes, Ecuador, 29 April 2019
Cypseloides cryptus


With 15 cm (6 in) a medium sized Swift.

  • Blackish plumage
  • Pale grey areas on chin (not white as name suggests)
  • Relatively short and square tail
  • Generally a squat appearance

Similar Species

Very similar to White-fronted Swift, Rothschild's Swift and Sooty Swift.


Patchily distributed in South America and Central America. Populations known in Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Also in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and Belize.
Definitely known only from a few sites and rather uncommon everywhere. However this species is not regarded as globally threatened.


Forms a superspecies with White-fronted Swift and is also considered by some authorities to be conspecific with it. Others think that this species may be conspecific with Rothschild's Swift and Sooty Swift.
This is a monotypic species[1].


Montane evergreen forest, also tropical lowland evergreen forest. Likes gorges and waterfalls to roost and for nesting.



Feeds on insects (eg flying ants), taken in flight. Not so gregarious like other Swift species, but often seen in flocks with other Swifts.


Nesting recorded from May to June. Builds a half cup with moss and liverworts, hold together with mud, usually close to water. Lays one egg.


Resident species, no wandering recorded.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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