Asian Palm Swift

Asian Palm Swift
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Apodidae
Genus: Cypsiurus
Species: C. balasiensis
Binomial name
Cypsiurus balasiensis
Gray,JE, 1829

The Asian Palm Swift (Cypsiurus balasiensis)[2] is a small swift. It is very similar to the African Palm Swift, Cypsiurus parvus, and was formerly considered to be the same species.

It is a common resident breeder in tropical Asia from India to the Philippines. The down and feather nest is glued to the underside of a palm leaf with saliva, which is also used to secure the usually two or three eggs. This is a bird of open country and cultivation, which is strongly associated with Oil Palms.[3]

This 13cm long species is mainly pale brown in colour. It has long swept-back wings that resemble a crescent or a boomerang. The body is slender, and the tail is long and deeply forke, although it is usually held closed. The call is a loud shrill scream.[3]

Sexes are similar, and young birds differ mainly their shorter tails. Asian Palm Swift has very short legs which it uses only for clinging to vertical surfaces, since swifts never settle voluntarily on the ground.[3]

These swifts spend most of their lives in the air, living on the insects they catch in their beaks. Asian Palm Swifts often feed near the ground, and they drink on the wing.[3]


External links

  • BirdLife International (2008). Cypsiurus balasiensis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 15 May 2009. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of Least Concern.


  1. ^ Compilers: Stuart Butchart, Jonathan Ekstrom (2008). "Asian Palm-swift - BirdLife Species Factsheet". Evaluators: Jeremy Bird, Stuart Butchart. BirdLife International . Retrieved May 15, 2009. 
  2. ^ Note: the name "balasiensis" is derived from the Bengali name "Batassia", which refers to a 'bird resembling the wind', in reference to its nimble flight. Aasheesh Pittie. "A dictionary of scientific bird names originating from the Indian region". Retrieved April 27, 2009. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d Birds of India by Grimmett, Inskipp and Inskipp, ISBN 0-691-04910-6

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