Family Swifts (Apodidae)

Least Concern

White-rumped Swiftlet (Aerodramus spodiopygius)


Taxonomy

French: Salangane à croupion blanc German: Weißbürzelsalangane Spanish: Salangana culiblanca
Taxonomy:

Macropteryx spodiopygius

Peale

, 1848,

Upolu and Tutuila, Samoa Islands

.

Has been considered close to A. mearnsi, A. infuscatus, A. hirundinaceus and A. terraereginae, and last three have all been considered conspecific with present species. A. sawtelli may prove to be merely a race of this species. Previously placed in composite species A. francicus. Eleven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. s. delichon (Salomonsen, 1983) – Admiralty Is, in N Bismarck Archipelago.
  • A. s. eichhorni (E. J. O. Hartert, 1924) – Mussau I, in St Matthias Group (NC Bismarck Archipelago).
  • A. s. noonaedanae (Salomonsen, 1983) – New Ireland (including Tabar Is and Lihir Is, off E coast) and New Britain, in E Bismarck.
  • A. s. reichenowi (Stresemann, 1912) – Solomon Is from Buka S to Makira (San Cristobal).
  • A. s. desolatus (Salomonsen, 1983) – Duff Is, Swallow Is and Ndeni (Santa Cruz Is) and Tikopia (extreme S Solomons).
  • A. s. epiensis (Salomonsen, 1983) – Banks Is and N & C Vanuatu (S to Epi).
  • A. s. ingens (Salomonsen, 1983) – S Vanuatu (Emae S to Anatom).
  • A. s. leucopygius (Wallace, 1864) – Loyalty Is and New Caledonia.
  • A. s. assimilis (Stresemann, 1912) – Fiji.
  • A. s. townsendi (Oberholser, 1906) – Tonga.
  • A. s. spodiopygius (Peale, 1848) – Samoa and American Samoa.
  • Descriptive notes

    10–11·5 cm; one female 8 g. A small to medium-sized swiftlet with a deep tail-fork; highly polytypic. Rump pale throughout, but degree of paleness varies... read more

    Voice

    Main vocalization is a continuously repeated rhythmic phrase, “twee-twee-chew-chew”or “twee-twee-... read more

    Habitat

    Occurs over wide range of island habitats, from lowlands to highlands, on New Britain to 1890 m and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Race assimilis of Fiji compared with A. terraereginae chilla­goensis of Australia: present species takes smaller prey... read more

    Breeding

    Season on Vanuatu Oct–Feb; active colony reported on Lou I (S of Manus in Admiralty Is), Mar; on Fiji first eggs laid Sept–Oct... read more

    Movements

    Resident. Vagrant to New Zealand.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to abundant over much of range; 8 colonies in Fiji contained over 1400 nests in 1975 and 1976. Commonest swiftlet in W New Britain.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Chantler, P. & Boesman, P. (2017). White-rumped Swiftlet (Aerodramus spodiopygius). 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/55273 on 21 September 2017).