Family Treeswifts (Hemiprocnidae)

Least Concern

Whiskered Treeswift (Hemiprocne comata)


French: Hémiprocné coiffé German: Ohrenbaumsegler Spanish: Vencejo arborícola chico

Cypselus comatus


, 1824,



Proposed race stresemanni (Pagai I, off W Sumatra) is synonymized with nominate, and nakamurai and barbarae (both from Philippines) with major. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. c. comata (Temminck, 1824) – S Myanmar (S Tenasserim) and peninsular Thailand S to Sumatra (including W Sumatran islands) and Borneo and intervening islands.
  • H. c. major (E. J. O. Hartert, 1895) – Philippines, including Sulu Archipelago, but excluding Palawan.
  • Descriptive notes

    15–17 cm; two males 21–21·7 g, two females 20·2–26 g (major). Only slightly crested. Widely sympatric with H. longipennis,... read more


    Vocalizations not unlike those of H. longipennis, but shrill chatters are less piercing,... read more


    Small cover breaks and the main canopy of evergreen forest inland, and locally also of tall, mature... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small flying arthropods, but diet not analysed. Compared with typical behaviour of co-occurring H. longipennis, forages from... read more


    Over most of range lays Feb–Aug (latest fledglings in early Oct); the few Philippine records, dated only May. Nesting dispersed and... read more


    Sedentary; breeding pairs are believed to remain in their nesting territory throughout the year. read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Reported as common in most parts of range; very few recent records from Singapore. More local in Philippines, though observed at most... read more

    Recommended citation

    Wells, D. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Whiskered Treeswift (Hemiprocne comata). 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 22 February 2020).