Family Treeswifts (Hemiprocnidae)

Least Concern

Grey-rumped Treeswift (Hemiprocne longipennis)


French: Hémiprocné longipenne German: Haubenbaumsegler Spanish: Vencejo arborícola culigrís

Hirundo longipennis


, 1802,



Closely related to H. coronata, with which formerly sometimes treated as conspecific. Several races have been described, but most nowadays considered invalid; ocyptera (Nias I) and thoa (Batu Is, Pagai Is, Enggano I) synonymized with perlonga, anochra (Natuna Is) with harterti, and dehaani and mendeni (from archipelagos E of Sulawesi) with wallacii. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. l. harterti Stresemann, 1913 – S Myanmar (S Tenasserim) and SW Thailand S & E to Sumatra, Borneo and intervening islands, and Sulu Archipelago (E to Tawitawi).
  • H. l. perlonga (Richmond, 1903) – W Sumatran islands from Simeulue S to Enggano.
  • H. l. longipennis (Rafinesque, 1802) – Sunda Strait (Panaitan I) through Java to Lombok, and Kangean Is (E Java Sea).
  • H. l. wallacii (Gould, 1859) – Sulawesi, including S and E satellites, and Sula Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    21–25 cm; 42·8 g (one harterti). Dark forehead-crest. Male has ear-coverts rufous, rest of face black, with no white striping; greenish grey from lower... read more


    Gives shrill wader- or tern-like calls both on perch and in flight (sometimes most excitedly, even... read more


    Groves of large trees and edge and canopy breaks of more continuous semi-evergreen and evergreen... read more

    Food and feeding

    Flying arthropods; prey selection hardly known, but regularly attends swarms of alate termites and, in Borneo, recorded taking bees from... read more


    In N Hemisphere, laying season overall Feb–Aug/Sept (chick records in Oct in Peninsular Malaysia), peaking in Mar–Jun, but also... read more


    Breeds over its whole altitudinal range, with probably no more than post-breeding local dispersive... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). More or less common through most of its range, and under no serious threat overall. As with H. coronata, preference for... read more

    Recommended citation

    Wells, D. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Grey-rumped Treeswift (Hemiprocne longipennis). 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 15 September 2019).