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Pallid swift

Apus pallidus

Photo by Daniele Occhiato (Bird Forum)

Common name:
pallid swift (en); andorinhão-pálido (pt); martinet pâle (fr); vencejo pálido (es); fahlsegler (de)

Order Apodiformes
Family Apodidae

This species breeds around the Mediterranean, from Morocco, southern Portugal and Spain to Egypt and Israel, and also along the coasts of the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. ost populations migrate south to winter in the Sahel, from southern Mauritania to Guinea and east to South Sudan. There are resident populations in Egypt, along the Nile river, and also in Niger and Chad.

These birds are 16-17 cm long and have a wingspan of 42-46 cm. They weigh about 50 g.

The pallid swift breed in cliffs and other rocky areas, and also within urban areas, including the centre of large cities. They forage over a variety of habitats, including coastal and inland wetlands, grasslands, savannas and gardens. This species occurs from sea level up to an altitude of 2.700 m.

The forage exclusively on the wing, taking small flying insects.

Pallid swifts breed in March-September, varying between different parts of their range. They nest in crevices on buildings or cliffs, where they build a shallow cup of straw, grass, and feathers, cemented together with saliva. There the female lays 1-3 white eggs which are incubated by both parents for 20-23 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 44-48 days after hatching. Each pair can raise 1-2 broods per season.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population was roughly estimated at 250.000-2.000.000 individuals, although this estimate requires further validation. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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