Swifts & Swiftlets

(Family: Apodidae)

Members of this family are long-winged and extremely weak-legged, and the two larger species in Australia have a spiny tail. They are specialised aerial feeders, capturing flying prey in the short, very wide beak. Nesting takes place in caves and crevices. Seven species have been recorded in Australia, although only three breed in the country, the Christmas Island Glossy Swiftlet Collocalia esculenta natalis, and the Australian Swiftlet Aerodramus. The White-tailed Needletail Hirundapus caudacutus and Fork-tailed Swift Apus pacificus occur as migrants from the northern hemisphere. The Papuan Spine-tailed Swift Mearnsia novaeguineae, Uniform Swiftlet Ae. vanikorensis, House Swift Ap. nipalensis and New Guinean Glossy Swiftlet C. e. nitens are listed as vagrants.

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