Family Swifts (Apodidae)

Least Concern

Lesser Antillean Swift (Chaetura martinica)


French: Martinet chiquesol German: Antillensegler Spanish: Vencejo de Martinica

Hirundo martinica


, 1783,



Has been thought to be closest to C. cinereiventris and C. egregia, and the three were previously placed in genus Acanthylis along with C. spinicaudus. Monotypic.


Lesser Antilles: Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, St Lucia and St Vincent.

Descriptive notes

10·5–11 cm; mean 12·7 g. Smallish swift with short square tail, rectrix spines up to 5 mm beyond web, protruding head and distinctive wing shape, with hooked... read more


Main call is a high-pitched twittering trill “prrrrrrrr” or “prrrrrrr-titi” given at intervals.


Main habitats tradionally defined as tropical lowland evergreen forest and probably secondary... read more

Food and feeding

Gregarious forager, typically in flocks of 20–40, often with hirundines.


Season believed to be late spring to early summer. Nest believed to be half-cupped; presumably nest-sites typical of genus, though one nest... read more


Generally resident. Recorded as a vagrant to Nevis. Erroneous record from Trinidad.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in Lesser Antilles EBA. Fairly common on Dominica, Martinique, St Lucia and St Vincent; uncommon on... read more

Recommended citation

Chantler, P. & Boesman, P. (2020). Lesser Antillean Swift (Chaetura martinica). 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).