Family Swifts (Apodidae)

Least Concern

Australian Swiftlet (Aerodramus terraereginae)


Taxonomy

French: Salangane d’Australie German: Queenslandsalangane Spanish: Salangana australiana
Taxonomy:

Cypselus terræ-reginæ

E. P. Ramsay

, 1875,

north-east coast ranges, near Cardwell, Queensland, Australia

.

Has been thought to be close to A. infuscatus, A. hirundinaceus, A. mearnsi and A. spodiopygius. Previously placed in composite species A. francicus or, alternatively, in A. vanikorensis; considered conspecific with A. spodiopygius by some authors. Race chillagoensis has been treated as a separate species, although solid grounds for such a split appear to be lacking. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. t. terraereginae (E. P. Ramsay, 1875) – coastal NE Queensland.
  • A. t. chillagoensis Pecotich, 1982 – Chillagoe, Mitchell and Palmer districts, in subcoastal NE Queensland.
  • Descriptive notes

    11 cm; mean 9·4 g. Medium-sized swiftlet with shallowly forked tail; dark brown upperparts with typically paler rump, though some birds uniform across upperparts; pale... read more

    Voice

    Flight call a high-pitched “cheep”. Echolocating calls consist of incessant metallic clicks; the... read more

    Habitat

    Recorded to 1000 m, generally below 500 m. Much foraging over dry savanna-type terrain, though also... read more

    Food and feeding

    Habits of race chilla­goensis compared with those of A. spodiopygius assimilis of Fiji: present species takes larger... read more

    Breeding

    At Tully Gorge, North Queensland, 95% of nests contained eggs or nestlings at various stages of development, early Oct to mid-Jan; breeds... read more

    Movements

    Resident. Birds enter their breeding caves at remarkable speeds of up to 111 km/h, but are able to... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common in lowlands. Survey of 34 active colonies during 1985–1987 showed peak count of 500 pairs for a single colony. Range appears stable but... read more

    Recommended citation

    Chantler, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2017). Australian Swiftlet (Aerodramus terraereginae). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/55274 on 20 November 2017).