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White-rumped Spinetail - BirdForum Opus

Zoonavena sylvatica


A rather small, broad-winged and spine-tailed Swift.

  • Diagnostic wing shape: hooked outer wing, bulging midwing, pinched in at body
  • Short square tail, when spread rounded
  • Black above (may shine glossy blue)
  • Bold broad white rump-band
  • White underparts
  • Indistinctive grey throat
  • Black underwing
  • Fluttery flight


India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Unpredictable in occurence. Found in lower Himalayas, from Sikkim to the west (Garhwal), in the Hills of NE India, Maharashtra, Orissa and in the Western Ghats south of Goa. Records in Myanmar need confirmation.
Generally uncommon and local but not globally threatened.


Monotypic species. Formerly placed in genus Chaetura, sometimes placed in genus Indicapus.


Hills with forests or plantations. Up to 1800m in Himalayas.


Feeds mainly on beetles and other insects. Forages high like other swifts and in small groups.
Breeds from February to May solitary in tree-holes but sometimes several nests are found toghether. More research is needed.
Resident species but some wandering occurs with no evident pattern.

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