Family Swifts (Apodidae)

Least Concern

Palau Swiftlet (Aerodramus pelewensis)


French: Salangane des Palau German: Palausalangane Spanish: Salangana de las Palau

Collocalia pelewensis


, 1935,

Palau Islands


Has been thought to be close to A. vanikorensis, A. inquietus, A. bartschi and A. salangana; all were formerly considered conspecific. Previously placed in A. bartschi, and sometimes associated also with A. fuciphagus germani and A. f. inexpectatus. Monotypic.


Palau Is.

Descriptive notes

11 cm. Small swiftlet with relatively short, moderately forked tail; black-brown upperparts with grey-brown rump; ­underparts palest on throat, darkest on undertail-... read more


Calls include insect-like buzzy chirps and more prolonged twitterings.


Occurs on larger islands of group. Most numerous flocks typically over highland ridges and gorges,... read more

Food and feeding

Most active at dusk when forms largest flocks. Small flocks forage in a restricted area for long periods during day.


Active colony on Malakal I in mid-Oct. Colonial, nesting in caves. Very flat nests attached to cave roof are lined with moss and fine grass... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Palau EBA. Common to abundant within small range, with no large population change noted between 1949 and 1988.

Recommended citation

Chantler, P. & Boesman, P. (2020). Palau Swiftlet (Aerodramus pelewensis). 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).