Family Swifts (Apodidae)

Least Concern

Bates's Swift (Apus batesi)


French: Martinet de Bates German: Mohrensegler Spanish: Vencejo del Camerún

Cypselus batesi


, 1904,

Efulen, Cameroon


Recent molecular phylogeny#R placed this species in a clade with A. caffer, A. horus, A. nipalensis and A. affinis. Monotypic.


Liberia and Guinea E very locally to Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon, S to Gabon and N Congo. Also reported from E Sierra Leone, where status uncertain; old records (late 1930s) from E DRCongo (Semliki Valley).

Descriptive notes

14 cm. Small swift with structure most similar to A. caffer, with deeply forked tail; distinctive high-speed flight with rapid flickering wingbeats and occasional... read more


No information.


Occurs in rainforest zone near rocky extrusions where cliff swallows, especially Dusky Cliff-... read more

Food and feeding

Not known.


Breeds Sept–Mar in Gabon, probably Mar and maybe Jan in Liberia, and lays May–Jun in Cameroon. Solitary, nesting in deserted... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally rare, but abundance varies and can be locally frequent, with 20–30 birds seen along R Semliki (E DRCongo) on three occasions in Oct... read more

Recommended citation

Chantler, P. & Boesman, P. (2020). Bates's Swift (Apus batesi). 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 20 February 2020).