Family Swifts (Apodidae)

Least Concern

White-collared Swift (Streptoprocne zonaris)


French: Martinet à collier blanc German: Halsbandsegler Spanish: Vencejo acollarado

Hirundo zonaris


, 1796,



Research has shown that race albicincta is more restricted in range than had previously been thought. Nine subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. z. mexicana Ridgway, 1910 – S Mexico (Guerrero and Veracruz) to Belize.
  • S. z. bouchellii Huber, 1923 – Honduras S to Panama.
  • S. z. pallidifrons (E. J. O. Hartert, 1896) – Greater Antilles and, locally, Lesser Antilles (Saba, Grenadines, Grenada).
  • S. z. minor (Lawrence, 1882) – cordilleras of N Venezuela; Trinidad.
  • S. z. albicincta (Cabanis, 1862) – lowland Venezuela (S of Andes and cordilleras), Margarita I, and the Guianas.
  • S. z. subtropicalis Parkes, 1994 – Sierra de Perijá, and middle elevations in Andes from Colombia (including Santa Marta Mts) and W Venezuela (Mérida) S to Peru.
  • S. z. altissima Chapman, 1914 – high elevations of Andes in Colombia and Ecuador.
  • S. z. kuenzeli Niethammer, 1953 – high elevations in Bolivian Andes and NW Argentina; and presumably this race recently discovered in Andes of C Chile#R.
  • S. z. zonaris (Shaw, 1796) – lowlands in Bolivia, S Brazil and C & E Paraguay.
  • Descriptive notes

    20–22 cm; 85·75–107 g (race minor); wingspan 48–53 cm. Large swift with sturdy body, broad wings and shallowly forked tail; blackish plumage... read more


    Quite vocal, especially when in groups, with several loud calls somewhat reminiscent of a parakeet... read more


    Within large range often montane or submontane, to 4350 m in Andes, and from sea-level to 2500 m in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Two digestive tracts obtained in Mexico contained 842 and 538 individual insects with one spider. Orders Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera... read more


    Breeding season in Argentina, Nov–Jan; adults in breeding condition, Rio Grande do Sul (S Brazil), early Oct; sexually active,... read more


    Partly migratory, with various forms of dispersal in different populations. Some altitudinal... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally common to abundant throughout much of extensive range, though race pallidifrons of West Indies scarce in parts, and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Chantler, P., Kirwan, G.M. & de Juana, E. (2020). White-collared Swift (Streptoprocne zonaris). 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 24 February 2020).