Family Swifts (Apodidae)

Least Concern

Andean Swift (Aeronautes andecolus)


French: Martinet des Andes German: Andensegler Spanish: Vencejo andino

Cypselus andecolus

d’Orbigny and Lafresnaye

, 1837,

La Paz, Bolivia


Previously placed in genus Apus, even when A. saxatilis and A. montivagus were separated in Aeronautes. Proposed race dinellii (Jujuy, NW Argentina) included in nominate. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. a. parvulus (Berlepsch & Stolzmann, 1892) – W slope of Andes of Peru (S from Cajamarca) to extreme N Chile (Tarapacá).
  • A. a. peruvianus (Chapman, 1919) – E slope in SE Peru.
  • A. a. andecolus (d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1837) – C Bolivia S to W Argentina (to W Río Negro).
  • Descriptive notes

    14 cm. Medium-sized swift with broad inner wing, sharply pointed outer wing and long, deeply forked tail; black upperparts broken by narrow white trailing edge to secondaries... read more


    Most common call is a buzzy, grating “tzee-tz-tz-trrr...tzee-tz-tz-tzee...” phrase or similar. Also... read more


    Main habitats defined as arid montane scrub and semi-humid or humid montane scrub. ­Typically... read more

    Food and feeding

    Gregarious and highly mobile forager; associates with wintering C. pelagica.


    Observed entering hole in road cutting where young were being fed, early Dec, N Tarapacá, Chile. Recorded nesting in holes in steep... read more


    Resident. May move as a result of snowstorms at high altitude.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common throughout range, except N Chile where uncommon and irregular at Arica, Camarones Gorge and Chusmisa in mountains of Tarapacá. Local... read more

    Recommended citation

    Chantler, P. & Boesman, P. (2020). Andean Swift (Aeronautes andecolus). 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 on 23 February 2020).