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
  • © Joe Tobias

Everywhere uncommon and infrequently recorded, White-chinned Swift is spottily distributed from Belize south through Central America to Costa Rica, and then from Colombia to northern Peru, as well as to the Guianas and northern Brazil, where the species was recently found around Manaus. However, it must be emphasised that difficulties in the identification of this species have undoubtedly led to it being unrecorded. As with other species of Cypseloides swifts, this species is usually found in reasonably close proximity to waterfalls and gorges, at least in the breeding season. Its altitudinal range is wide, from sea level to 3000 m, and White-chinned Swift has been found over a wide variety of habitats, including heavily degraded and human-modified areas. The species often has been seen in the company of other Cypseloides swifts, as well as White-collared Swift (Streptoprocne zonaris) and other species and genera of swifts, although this frequency of association is perhaps heightened by the fact that White-chinned Swift will prove very difficult to identify without such comparative possibilities. Perhaps surprisingly, given the apparent rarity of this species, the breeding biology of White-chinned Swift has been reasonably well studied, especially in Costa Rica but also at a recently discovered colony in northern Brazil.


© Mark Robbins

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

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