Chapman's Swift Chaetura chapmani


The Chapman’s Swift, named for that famous student of Neotropical birds, Frank M. Chapman, was until comparatively recently considered to be conspecific with the Amazonian Swift (Chaetura viridipennis); the two species are probably almost entirely allopatric, although the more southerly distributed Amazonian Swift is speculated to make northward migrations, and thus might seasonally co-occur with Chapman’s Swift. In terms of morphology, the Chapman’s Swift is a relatively large and comparatively dark Chaetura, with the only contrast being offered by the marginally paler and grayer lower back to uppertail coverts. The species’ geographical range encompasses central Panama to Venezuela, the Guianas, and northern Brazil mainly north of the Amazon River. This swift has been recorded over-flying a variety of habitats to at least 1600 m elevation, and is usually encountered among groups of other swifts, especially Short-tailed Swifts (Chaetura brachyura), Gray-rumped Swifts, and Band-rumped Swifts (Chaetura spinicauda). Its relative rarity, compared to the other species just mentioned, makes it unsurprising that only one nest has ever been discovered, on the island of Trinidad.

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© Mario Cohn-Haft

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

Recommended Citation

Chapman's Swift (Chaetura chapmani), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: