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Band-rumped Swift Chaetura spinicaudus

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  • © Joao Quental JQuental

Identification of Chaetura swifts is notoriously difficult without considerable field experience, and is further complicated by geographical variation within species. The latter is particularly noticeable in the Band-rumped Swift, which ranges, apparently discontinuously, from Costa Rica south to southern Ecuador, and east to the Guianas and northeast Brazil, and is represented by five subspecies, principally differentiated by their size and general coloration. Nonetheless, the Band-rumped Swift is usually readily distinguished from similar small-sized swifts by its narrow but usually bright white rump-band, and more rakish (narrow-bodied) shape compared to species such as the more widespread Gray-rumped Swift (Chaetura cinereiventris). However, some of the various races of the present species have rather greyer and thus less obvious rump-bands. The Band-rumped Swift is often rather numerous and has been recorded to at least 1500 m. It is considered to be resident. This swift regularly feeds over water, and it joins mixed-species flocks of other swifts. Band-rumped Swift has been reported nesting in hollows in trees on the island of Trinidad, but more much information is needed concerning this species’ breeding biology.

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© Charles Duncan

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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Band-rumped Swift (Chaetura spinicaudus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/barswi