Family Swifts (Apodidae)

Least Concern

Pygmy Swift (Tachornis furcata)


French: Martinet pygmée German: Däumlingssegler Spanish: Vencejillo venezolano
Other common names: Pygmy Palm-swift

Micropanyptila furcata


, 1928,

Guachi, Zulia, Venezuela


Previously placed in a monospecific genus, Micropanyptila; alternatively, has on occasion been separated in Reinarda with T. squamata. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. f. nigrodorsalis (Aveledo & Pons, 1952) – NW Venezuela (W Maracaibo Basin).
  • T. f. furcata (Sutton, 1928) – NE Colombia (Norte de Santander) and adjacent NW Venezuela (S Maracaibo Basin N to Trujillo).
  • Descriptive notes

    10 cm. Tiny swift with long thin wings and long, deeply forked tail; uniformly brown upperparts; whitish throat, separated from whitish mid-belly by brown breast band with... read more


    Calls around colony a buzzy “bee-beez-beez-beez-be-be-be”, accelerating and trailing off.


    Main habitats defined as tropical lowland evergreen forest, secondary forest and ­second-growth... read more

    Food and feeding

    Forages in small, highly active flocks.


    Pair collected at nest-site in late Jul, Catatumbo lowlands, Colombia. In Venezuela, nests with young recorded in Feb and Jul, and also a... read more


    Believed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in Caribbean Colombia and Venezuela EBA. Regularly encountered in Jan 1995 throughout the SE... read more

    Recommended citation

    Chantler, P., Boesman, P. & de Juana, E. (2020). Pygmy Swift (Tachornis furcata). 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 18 February 2020).