White-throated Swift Identification

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The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    A fairly large swift with a long, slim body and very long, narrow wings that curve like a scimitar. The overall slim outline can make it appear small, especially at a distance.

    Relative Size

    Larger than a Vaux’s Swift, smaller and slenderer than a Purple Martin.

    Relative Sizebetween sparrow and robinbetween sparrow and robin
    Measurements
    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 5.9-7.1 in (15-18 cm)
      • Weight: 1.0-1.3 oz (28-36 g)

Regional Differences

Ornithologists recognize two very similar subspecies: saxatalis of North America and the darker nigrior of Central America.