Family Swifts (Apodidae)

Least Concern

White-tipped Swift (Aeronautes montivagus)


French: Martinet montagnard German: Bergsegler Spanish: Vencejo montañés

Cypselus montivagus

d’Orbigny and Lafresnaye

, 1837,

Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia


Previously placed in genus Apus. Present species and A. saxatilis apparently more closely related to each other than either is to A. andecolus. Race tatei originally placed as a separate species in a monotypic genus, Duidia. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. m. montivagus (d’Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1837) – scattered range from N Colombia (Santa Marta Mts) and N Venezuelan cordilleras S through Andes to NC Bolivia and NW Argentina (Jujuy).
  • A. m. tatei (Chapman, 1929) – tepuis of S Venezuela, W Guyana and extreme N Brazil.
  • Descriptive notes

    13 cm; male 18·25–22·75 g, female 17·25–21·75 g (nominate). Smallish swift with broad inner wing, sharply pointed outer wing and large... read more


    Commonest call a dry, rattling phrase “trrrrrree-t-t-trrr” or a simpler drawn-out “trrrrrrrreee”.


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

    Food and feeding

    In a study in the Coastal Cordillera of Venezuela prey items included c. 51% Hymenoptera and 35% Diptera, size ranging 1·2... read more


    Breeds Apr–Jul, N Venezuela; seen entering possible nest-sites early Apr, Colombia; breeding in Valle de Guayllabamba, Ecuador,... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally common, indeed locally abundant, at least in Ecuador. Perhaps more widespread than hitherto believed, since recently recorded... read more

    Recommended citation

    Chantler, P. & Boesman, P. (2020). White-tipped Swift (Aeronautes montivagus). 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 26 February 2020).