Family Swifts (Apodidae)

Least Concern

White-naped Swift (Streptoprocne semicollaris)


French: Martinet à nuque blanche German: Weißnackensegler Spanish: Vencejo nuquiblanco mexicano

Acanthylis semicollaris


, 1859,

San Joaquín, near Mexico City


Previously placed in a monospecific genus, Semicollum, largely on basis of nesting behaviour, but this treatment later found to be invalid. Alternatively, has at times been linked with Cypseloides senex in genus Aerornis. Monotypic.


Highlands of W & SC Mexico from Chihuahua and Sinaloa S to Nayarit, and in Hidalgo, México, Morelos and Guerrero.

Descriptive notes

22 cm. Very large swift with heavy body, long broad wings and large square tail, appearing more rounded when fully spread; black-brown with distinct white nape patch.... read more


Similar to S. zonaris, but has less strident calls and overall slightly lower-pitched and... read more


Essentially montane, mainly in arid inland regions where recorded to 3600 m. In Mexico at 1500... read more

Food and feeding

Upper portion of digestive tract of 1 specimen contained 1072 individual insects: 683 Hymenoptera, 391 Homoptera, 20 Hemiptera, 6 Diptera... read more


Eggs present in nests studied in late May. Nests colonially in caves mostly on solid, more or less horizontal, substrates; colonies up to... read more


Previously regarded as strictly resident. In Mexico, some withdraw from high cold altitudes in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Fairly common to locally common. Apparent break in range between the two main distributional blocks may reflect lack of suitable nesting and/or... read more

Recommended citation

Chantler, P. & Boesman, P. (2020). White-naped Swift (Streptoprocne semicollaris). 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 30 March 2020).