Family Swifts (Apodidae)

Least Concern

Antillean Palm-swift (Tachornis phoenicobia)


French: Martinet petit-rollé German: Kubasegler Spanish: Vencejillo antillano

Tachornis phœnicobia


, 1847,



Formerly placed alone in present genus. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. p. iradii (Lembeye, 1850) – Cuba and I of Pines.
  • T. p. phoenicobia Gosse, 1847 – Jamaica; Hispaniola and nearby islands of Saona, Beata and Vache.
  • Descriptive notes

    9–11·5 cm; 9·2–11 g; wingspan 23·5–25 cm. Unlikely to be confused, given that only sympatric swifts are either much larger with much... read more


    Weak twittering calls given persistently in flight, rendered “tooee-tooee”.


    Main habitats defined as low, seasonally wet grassland and second-growth scrub. Mainly a lowland... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet insects, but details virtually unknown. Encountered in small groups, occasionally with hirundines and even less regularly with other... read more


    Season May–Jul on Cuba, Mar–May on Hispaniola. Breeds colonially (up to 30 pairs together and up to ten in a single tree), in... read more


    Resident, with vagrancy to Florida Keys (Jul–Aug 1972) and Puerto Rico (Jul 1969) suggesting... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally common in suitable habitat on all ­islands within its range. Perhaps some evidence of decline in Haiti during recent... read more

    Recommended citation

    Chantler, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Antillean Palm-swift (Tachornis phoenicobia). 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 27 February 2020).