Biscutate Swift Streptoprocne biscutata

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


  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Biscutate Swift
eBird range map for Biscutate Swift

Generated from eBird observations (Year-Round, 1900-present)

Distribution in the Americas

Biscutate Swift occurs in eastern Brazil, from Piaui and Rio Grande do Norte south to Rio Grande do Sul (Sick 1997), and in northeastern Argentina in Missiones (Pearman et al. 2010). There also is a sight record from Paraguay (Capper et al. 2001).

Biscutate Swift clearly is migratory within portions of its range, but its movements and seasonality remain poorly documented. In northeastern Brazil it is only reported as a nonbreeding visitor, during the austral winter (February-October) (Sick 1991), but it is resident in southern Brazil (Pichorim and Monteiro-Filho 2010).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


Biscutate Swift forages over tropical lowland evergreen forest, montane evergreen forest, south temperate forest, secondary growth scrub, and tropical deciduous forest (Parker et al. 1996).  These swifts roost and breed in dry caverns, but often forage near waterfalls (Chantler 2000).

Historical changes

None reported.

Fossil history

None reported.

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.