Notice for readers: On March 31, Neotropical Birds will be integrated into the new Birds of the World, a powerful research database offering species accounts for every species on earth. Learn more at While Birds of the World is a subscription service, we remain committed to offering this content to Neotropical Birds contributors and to those unable to pay for it through our scholarship program. Stay tuned.

Tepui Swift Streptoprocne phelpsi

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Apodidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Thomas S. Schulenberg and Guy M. Kirwan
  • © Daniel Hinckley

One of only two species of Neotropical swifts that show reddish feathering on the head and neck, Tepui Swift is a recently described species that is largely confined to the pantepui region of southern Venezuela, northernmost Brazil, and western Guyana. There are a few reports, however, from the north coast of Venezuela, which hints at the present of additional populations or significant long distance dispersal. Tepui Swift is a midsized swift with long, relatively broad wings, and a stocky body. Seen well, the most striking feature is the orange throat and collar (which is paler in females). Tepui Swift is similar in size and plumage to Chestnut-collared Swift (Streptoprocne rutila). Chestnut-collared Swift is absent from the tepui region, so these species usually are allopatric; Chestnut-collared Swift is resident in the coastal cordilleras of Venezuela, however, so field identification of Tepui Swift in this region calls for great care. Tepui Swift differs from Chestnut-collared most noticeably bu the more deeply forked tail.


© Andrew Spencer

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

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, T. S. and G. M. Kirwan (2015). Tepui Swift (Streptoprocne phelpsi), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.