Family Swifts (Apodidae)

Least Concern

Sooty Swift (Cypseloides fumigatus)


French: Martinet fuligineux German: Rauchsegler Spanish: Vencejo negruzco

Hemiprocne fumigata


, 1848,



Thought to be closely related to C. niger, C. lemosi and C. rothschildi. Sometimes considered conspecific with C. rothschildi, and possibly with C. cryptus. Monotypic.


E Paraguay (Oriente), extreme NE Argentina (Misiones) and E Brazil (Tocantins and Bahia S to Rio Grande do Sul). Recorded also in E Bolivia (Santa Cruz) and NE Brazil (Ceará).

Descriptive notes

15 cm; 44 g. A medium-sized swift with a short, square tail and rather long wings; plumage generally sooty black-brown all over, with a tendency towards a paler forehead.... read more


Calls include a short dry “chit” or “jit”, often repeated, sometimes continuing as a fast dry... read more


Main habitats have been defined as montane evergreen forest, tropical lowland evergreen forest,... read more

Food and feeding

Species has usually noted foraging in small groups of 3–6 birds, and has been seen in association with Chaetura and ... read more


Collected in breeding condition Rio Grande do Sul in early Oct and early Nov. Nests on canyon walls. Nest is conical structure of moss,... read more


Resident. Observations suggest that in Oriente, Paraguay, it may be partially migratory, with... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Probably commoner than previously supposed, as a result of identification difficulties. Scarce resident in E Paraguay, though regular... read more

Recommended citation

Chantler, P. & Boesman, P. (2020). Sooty Swift (Cypseloides fumigatus). 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 3 April 2020).