• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Short-tailed Swift - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 20:25, 30 August 2012 by Njlarsen (talk | contribs) (remove {{incomplete}})
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Photo by Marcelo Padua
Belem, Para, Brazil
Chaetura brachyura

Includes Tumbes Swift


10.5 cm

  • Plumage is mostly black
  • Pale rump and tail
  • Long narrow wings
  • Short tail

Sexes are similar


Central and South America:
Central America: found only in Panama
Caribbean (West Indies): Lesser Antilles, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago
South America: Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil



There are 4 subspecies[1]:

  • C. b. brachyura:
  • C. b. praevelox:
  • C. b. cinereocauda:
  • North-central Brazil
  • C. b. ocypetes: Tumbes Swift
  • Locally in south-western Ecuador and extreme north-western Peru

ocypetes is sometimes accepted as full species, Tumbes Swift[2]


Savanna, open woodland and farmland.



The 5cm nest is formed from twigs and saliva and placed on a vertical surface. The clutch of 3-7 white eggs is incubated by both adults for 17-18 days. The youngsters leave the nest after about 14 days but cling to the wall near the nest for a further two weeks.


The diet includes flying insects, including winged ants and termites.


  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Avibase
  3. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links