Friday, 14 February 2014

Short-tailed swift

Photo by Patrick Ingremeau (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
short-tailed swift (en); andorinhão-de-rabo-curto (pt); martinet polioure (fr); vencejo rabón (es); stutzschwanzsegler (de)

Order Apodiformes
Family Apodidae

This species is found from Panama south to Bolivia and central and western Brazil.

These bird are 10-11 cm long and weigh 20 g.

The short-tailed swift is found in moist tropical forests, dry tropical forests and savannas, scrublands, second growths and plantations, often favouring areas near water. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.300 m.

They feed on flying insects, including winged ants and termite alates.

Short-tailed swifts nest in a shallow half-saucer made of twigs and saliva, attached to a vertical surface such as a chimney, manhole, well or a natural cave or tree cavity. The female lays 3-7 white eggs, which are incubated by both parents for 17-18 days. The chicks leave the nests 2 weeks after hatching, but remain near it, clinging to the cavity wall without flying, for another 2 weeks.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common. The short-tailed swift is suspected to lose 15-17,5% of suitable habitat within its range in the near future, based on a model of Amazonian deforestation, being therefore suspected to suffer a moderate decline in the next 2 decades.

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