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White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Apodidae
  • Polytypic: 9 subspecies
  • Authors: E. M. Roper


Geographic Variation

The White-collared Swift is polytypic, with nine commonly recognized subspecies (Parkes 1993, Chantler 2000). The following synopsis of the range and characters of each subspecies is based on Chantler (2000):

Streptoprocne zonaris subtropicalis: Occurs at mid-elevations from the Santa Marta mountains, northern Colombia and from Mérida, northwestern Venezuela, south to Peru.

Streptoprocne zonaris albicincta: Occurs in Venezuela and the Guyanas. Small. Blacker than minor; "broad breast-band broad but very restricted fringing (even in immatures), which tends to be brownish as opposed to white."

Streptoprocne zonaris mexicana: Occurs in southern Mexico and in Belize. Large. "Underparts greyer than other races. Broad white breast-band. Entire underparts lightly fringed in fresh immatures."

Streptoprocne zonaris bouchellii: Occurs from Nicaragua to Panama; intergrades with mexicana. "Blacker than mexicana with narrower breast-band (especially in immatures, which also have fringed throats."

Streptoprocne zonaris minor: Occurs in coastal mountains of Venezuela; also visits Trinidad. "Narrow breast-band (white restricted to tips and can appear mottled even in the adult). Greyish throat. Immatures extensively white-fringed on underparts, uppertail-coverts and marginal coverts."

Streptoprocne zonaris pallidifrons: Occurs in the Greater and Lesser Antilles. "Chin, forehead, and streak above eye contrastingly pale. Pale feathers also sometimes on throat. Marginal coverts buff-fringed, most conspicuous on immatures which lack other fringing."

Streptoprocne zonaris altissima: Occurs in the Andes of Colombia and Ecuador, at high elevations. Very large. "Broad white collar not narrowing on nape or sides of neck. Blackish plumage, slightly paler throat. White-fringed marginal coverts. Well-developed fringing on underparts in immatures."

Streptoprocne zonaris zonaris: Occurs at low elevations in southern Brazil and in Bolivia. Large, and deep black. Has "no fringing to marginal coverts and white on nape restricted to tips and therefore distinct narrowing or mottling can be apparent in this area. Less deeply black than subtropicalis. Immature practically unfringed."

Streptoprocne zonaris kuenzeli: Occurs on the Andes of Bolivia and northwestern Argentina, at high elevations. "Underparts and throat brownish with marginal coverts distinctly fringed and often with a narrow white line of feathers over eye. Whole of plumage in immatures heavily white-fringed, with white on lores and over eye."

Related Species

Little information. The genera Streptoprocne and Cypseloides together comprise the subfamily Cypseloidinae (Chantler 2000); the phylogeny within Cypeloidinae remains unresolved.

Recommended Citation

Roper, E. M. (2011). White-collared Swift (Streptoprocne zonaris), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.