White-chinned Swift Cypseloides cryptus

  • Order: Caprimulgiformes
  • Family: Apodidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Marîa del Coro Arizmendi, Claudia I. Rodríguez-Flores, Carlos A. Soberanes-González, Guy M. Kirwan, and Thomas S. Schulenberg


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

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

Distribution in the Americas

White-chinned Swift occurs from northern Central America south to northeastern South America and to southern Peru, but within this vast region it has been found breeding at only a few sites. This species may occur in southwestern Mexico, depending upon whether White-fronted Swift (Cypseloides storeri) is recognized as a distinct species, or is included to be a population of White-chinned Swift (see Systematics). There also are unconfirmed sight records of White-chinned Swift from southeastern Mexico (Howell and Webb 1995). This species also is known from one or more records each from Belize (Russell 1964, Howell et al. 1992), Guatemala (Eisermann and Avendaño 2007), Honduras (Eisenmann and Lehman 1962), and Nicaragua (Howell 1957, Martinez-Sánchez and Will 2010). White-chinned Swift is not documented to breed in any of these countries, however, and its seasonal status in this region - resident or migrant - remains unresolved. White-chinned Swift is confirmed as a breeding species in Costa Rica (Marín and Stiles 1992). It also is reported from Panama (Wetmore 1968, Ridgely and Gwynne 1989).

White-chinned Swift is reported from a few sites in Colombia (Eisenmann and Lehmann 1962, Hilty and Brown 1986); breeding is not documented in Colombia, but some specimens from there (January, April) had enlarged gonads, suggesting that they were in breeding condition (Eisenmann and Lehman 1962). There also are records from several sites in eastern Ecuador (Collins 1968, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a), and from scattered sites in eastern Peru (Roesler et al. 2009, Schulenberg et al. 2010). Most records from Peru are in or near the Andes, but there are sight records of birds believed to be White-chinned Swift from the Amazon along the Peru/Brazil border, on the Río Yavarí (Lane et al. 2003, Roesler et al. 2009).

White-chinned Swift also occurs in northeastern South America in Venezuela (Zimmer 1945, Hilty 2003), Suriname (Ottema and Chin Joe 2006, Ottema et al. 2009), and Guyana (Zimmer 1945, Braun et al. 2007). White-chinned Swift recently has been found breeding in northern Brazil (Whittaker and Whittaker 2008).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


White-chinned Swift usually is observed over montane evergreen forest or (in Amazonia) over lowland evergreen forest; less commonly, also observed over pasture and low second growth. The few known breeding sites are in close proximity to falling water on cliff faces or rock walls (Marín and Stiles 1992, Whittaker and Whittaker 2008).

Historical changes

None reported.

Fossil history

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Arizmendi, M. d. C., C. I. Rodríguez-Flores, C. A. Soberanes-González, G. M. Kirwan, and T. S. Schulenberg (2013). White-chinned Swift (Cypseloides cryptus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.whcswi1.01