White-throated Swift

Aeronautes saxatalis

Order

APODIFORMES

Family

Swifts (Apodidae)

Code 4

WTSW

Code 6

AERSAX

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The White-throated Swift is a small swift found throughout western North America and southward to western Honduras. During the winter months, this bird will migrate to southern portions of its normal range. They may be found as far north in the winter along the Pacific coast as the Californian Central Valley. Inland populations extend through the Great Basin and extreme southern British Columbia. Nests are built high in the trees, as this bird is usually in flight versus on the ground. Diets consist mainly of flying insects, berries and seeds. The conservation rating for the White-throated Swift is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

White-throated Swift: Medium-sized swift, mostly brown-black except for white throat, white patches on belly, flanks, white edges on wings. Face is pale gray, has dark eye patch. May be the most rapid flying North American bird, has been seen fleeing from raptors at estimated speeds of over 200 mph.


Range and Habitat

White-throated Swift: Breeds from southern British Columbia through the Rocky Mountains and throughout the southwest, from California to New Mexico. Spends winters from central California and the southwestern states to Central America. Arid mountains and other rocky areas are its preferred habitats.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"jee-jee-jee-jee-jee"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The White-throated Swift was first described in 1853 by Samuel Washington Woodhouse, an American surgeon, explorer and naturalist.
  • Adults exposed to prolonged cold, wet conditions may die. However, when temperatures drop and food intake has been low, swifts become hypothermic which may enable them to survive until conditions improve.
  • It has proven to be extremely adaptable and will seek out crevices in bridge trusses, highway overpasses, buildings, quarries and other manifestations of human activity.
  • A group of swifts are collectively known as a "box", "flock", "screaming frenzy", and "swoop" of swifts.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for White-throated Swift

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X