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White-throated Swift

Aeronautes saxatalis ORDER: CAPRIMULGIFORMES FAMILY: APODIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

One of the fastest flying birds in North America, the White-throated Swift is a common sight in the canyons, foothills, and mountains of the American West.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
5.9–7.1 in
15–18 cm
Weight
1–1.3 oz
28–36 g
Other Names
  • Martinet à gorge blanche (French)
  • Vencejo pecho blanco (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • A highly social creature, the White-throated Swift sleeps in roosts of hundreds of birds, typically in larger cavities in cliffs and large rocks. In the evening they gather above a roost, ascending beyond view and then descend as a group. With a swirling in front of the roost crack, individuals enter the roost several abreast. Occasionally one misses, bouncing off the entrance to rejoin the swirling mass.
  • The oldest recorded White-throated Swift was at least 10 years old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in California in 2006. It had been banded int he same state in 1997.

Habitat


Mountains

Food


Insects

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Egg Description
White
Nest Description

Simple cup constructed of felt-like substance made from a variety of materials gathered on the wing, stuck together with gluelike saliva. Attached to vertical cliff wall or on ledge.

Nest Placement

Cliff

Behavior


Aerial Forager

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

White-throated Swift populations appear to have declined across much of their range between 1966 and 2015, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 1.1 million with 67% spending part of the year in the U.S., 64% in Mexico, and 1% breeding in Canada. The species rates an 11 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and is not on the 2016 State of North America's Birds Watch List.

Credits

Range Map Help

White-throated Swift Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

You Might Also Like

Naturalist's Notebook: A Swift Courtship, Living Bird, Autumn 2013.

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