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Biscutate swift

Streptoprocne biscutata

Photo by Pia Öberg (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
biscutate swift (en); andorinhão-de-coleira-falha (pt); martinet à collier interompu (fr); vencejo nuquiblanco brasileño (es); schildsegler (de)

Order Apodiformes
Family Apodidae

This species is found along eastern Brazil, from Ceara south to Parana and northern Rio Grande do Sul, and also marginally into south-eastern Paraguay.

These birds are 20-22 cm long and have a wingspan of around 50 cm. They weigh 85-100 g.

The biscutate swift is mostly found in moist tropical forests, but also in temperate forests and second growths, particularly near rocky areas and waterfalls. They are found from sea level up to an altitude of 2.500 m.

They hunt flying insects on the wing.

Biscutate swifts breed in October-June. They nest in horizontal or slightly inclined rocky substrata on otherwise vertical walls or crevices, often in caves, where they build a circular nest made of mosses, lichens and leaves held together with saliva. The female lays 1-4 white eggs which are incubated by both parents for about 18-28 days. The chicks fledge about 28-39 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as fairly common but patchily distributed. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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