Family Swifts (Apodidae)

Least Concern

White-chinned Swift (Cypseloides cryptus)


French: Martinet à menton blanc German: Weißkinnsegler Spanish: Vencejo barbiblanco

Cypseloides cryptus

J. T. Zimmer

, 1945,

Inca Mine, Peru


Thought to be closely related to C. storeri, the two sometimes being considered conspecific. Another proposal suggests that present species may be conspecific with C. rothschildi and C. fumigatus. Monotypic.


Scattered and poorly known. In Central America, occurs primarily on Caribbean-slope lowlands of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica; recorded from Andes and associated lowlands in Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador; also cordilleras of N Venezuela, tepuis of S Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname, and N Brazil#R.

Descriptive notes

15 cm; 35 g. A medium-sized swift with a rather squat appearance and a relatively short, square tail; generally blackish with pale grey areas on chin, distal part of forehead... read more


Gives a short clicking “tik” and more mellow “week” that is often repeated and sometimes continues... read more


Main habitats defined as montane evergreen forest and tropical lowland evergreen forest. Prefers... read more

Food and feeding

Analysis of prey items from 4 stomachs and 2 boluses showed that 92% were Hymenoptera. Two females collected from N Venezuela contained... read more


In Costa Rica egg-laying from early May to early Jun prompted not by first rains of wet season but by heavier rains May–Jun; strong... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally uncommon, with rather scattered distribution, and definitely known from very few sites, e.g. in Colombia from Cauca and C... read more

Recommended citation

Chantler, P., Bonan, A. & Boesman, P. (2020). White-chinned Swift (Cypseloides cryptus). 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 17 February 2020).