Family Swifts (Apodidae)

Data Deficient

Spot-fronted Swift (Cypseloides cherriei)


French: Martinet à points blancs German: Diademsegler Spanish: Vencejo cuatroojos

Cypseloides cherriei


, 1893,

Volcán de Irazú, Costa Rica




Scattered and poorly known. Breeding proven in SW Costa Rica (Pacific slope of Cordillera Central), N Venezuela (Aragua, in coastal cordillera) and N Ecuador (Pichincha and Napo); records also from Colombia in W Andes (Charguayaco by Cerro Munchique, in Cauca; Las Guacas, near Popayán, in Cauca), C Andes (Ibagué, in Tolima), and E Andes (San Gil, in Santander; Soatá, in Boyacá).

Descriptive notes

14 cm; 21·7–23 g. Small swift with short square tail and relatively short wings; blackish plumage with striking head pattern; white supraloral patch, post-ocular... read more


Calls include a short “tip” or brighter “pip”, often repeated, sometimes continuing as a short... read more


Not recorded outside mountainous areas; all localities 1100–2200 m. Main habitat defined as... read more

Food and feeding

Of 719 prey items analysed, from 2 boluses and 2 stomachs, 87% were Hymenoptera and Hemiptera. In Costa Rica occurs singly or in pairs,... read more


In Venezuela active nests recorded Jul–Aug; in Ecuador c. 18-day-old chick in nest in mid-Jun and hatching period for that country... read more


No indication of migratory behaviour.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Data Deficient. Despite paucity of sightings, specimens and recorded localities, may prove to be more widespread and abundant... read more

Recommended citation

Chantler, P., Boesman, P. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Spot-fronted Swift (Cypseloides cherriei). 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 June 2019).