French: Martinet sombre German: Schwarzsegler Spanish: Vencejo negro
Other common names:
American Black Swift
J. F. Gmelin
Subspecies and Distribution
C. n. borealis
(Kennerly, 1858) – W North America from SE Alaska and NW British Columbia S to SW USA; presumably winters in South America.
C. n. costaricensis
Ridgway, 1910 – C Mexico (from S Chihuahua and Hidalgo) S to Costa Rica; winters presumably S of Mexican isthmus.
C. n. niger
(J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – West Indies from Cuba E to Trinidad; partial migrant in Lesser Antilles.
18 cm; 35–45 g. Rather a large swift with shallow, though distinctly, forked tail; long, broad wings and stocky body; dark plumage with white fringes to underparts,... read more
Calls include a short “chip” or “tip”, often repeated, sometimes continuing into a fast rattle and... read more
Occurs mainly at 1200–3000 m in Mexico; breeds 555–1400 m in S California, and from... read more
Food and feeding
Studies reveal Hymenoptera predominate in diet; 276 prey items from 2 adults consisted of 4 species of Hymenoptera, including 200... read more
Collected in breeding condition Costa Rica May–Jul and Dominica Jun–Jul; mating Jun, Cascade Mts (SW Canada, NW USA), with... read more
Definite wintering grounds for any race uncertain. May be resident in Greater Antilles, though... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Abundance varies throughout range. Locally frequent to common in Mexico, rare and very localized in California, fairly common to... read more
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