Biscutate Swift Streptoprocne biscutata

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Apodidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Audrey Bowe


Conservation Status

Biscutate Swift is considered by The IUCN Red List conservation status of Biscutate Swift is evaluated as of Least Concern, due to its wide range and presumed large population (BirdLife International 2014). While no comprehensive estimates have been made, a single roost cave in Serido was observed to have as many as 90,000-100,000 individuals in 1978, and a series of 15 caves in the same region had 1,200 individuals roosting in 1984 (Chantler 1999). Biscutate Swifts are typically regionally common where roost sites occur (Birdlife International 2014).

Effects of human activity on populations

No direct effects of human activity on the Biscutate Swift have been documented. Deaths of other species of swifts have been reported as a result of collisions with man-made obstructions, such as telephone wires or planes (Chantler 1999). Swifts in general are also extremely vulnerable to bioaccumulation of pesticides, due to their insectivorous diet (Chantler 1999). Additionally, climate change may be altering arthropod food supply by influencing time of emergence in these insects (Chantler 1999).

Recommended Citation

Bowe, A. (2014). Biscutate Swift (Streptoprocne biscutata), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.