Family Swifts (Apodidae)

Least Concern

Black Spinetail (Telacanthura melanopygia)


Taxonomy

French: Martinet de Chapin German: Iturisegler Spanish: Vencejo del Ituri
Other common names: Black Spine-tailed Swift
Taxonomy:

Chætura melanopygia

Chapin

, 1915,

Avakubi, Ituri District, DRCongo

.

Monotypic.

Distribution:

SE Sierra Leone E to S Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon and N Congo. Recorded also in SW Central African Republic, NE DRCongo and NE Angola.

Descriptive notes

15–17 cm; 52 g. Large, slender spinetail with long wings, typical hooked outer primaries, bulging inner primaries and outer secondaries, pinched in at body; prominent... read more

Voice

Three main vocalizations, all of them considered loud and harsh (like teeth being gnashed): a... read more

Habitat

Rainforest zone over a variety of habitats, including primary and secondary forest, plantations and... read more

Food and feeding

Winged ants reported from one stomach. Generally a low-elevation feeder that freely associates with other swifts, e.g. Apus apus,... read more

Breeding

Largely unknown. Enlarged gonads in Ghana in Feb, and Zaire in Oct; entering tree hollows in Liberia late Dec to mid-Mar, where aerial... read more

Movements

Generally considered resident. Some authors have suggested that this may be an Afrotropical migrant... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally uncommon to rare throughout, but believed to occur more widely than present knowledge indicates, and certainly overlooked. Some evidence that... read more

Recommended citation

Chantler, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2017). Black Spinetail (Telacanthura melanopygia). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/55301 on 25 September 2017).