Black Swift

Cypseloides niger

Order

APODIFORMES

Family

Swifts (Apodidae)

Code 4

BLSW

Code 6

CYPNIG

ITIS

Egg Color:

White, sometimes nest stained



Number of Eggs:

1



Incubation Days:

24 - 27



Egg Incubator:

Both sexes



Nest Location:

On ridge of cliff near water.



Nest Material:

Little mud, mostly ferns, algae, and moss.



Migration:

Migratory



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General

Black Swift: Large, bulky swift, black overall. Wrist (wing angle) is very close to body. Long, slightly forked tail is often fanned out. Sexes are similar. Juvenile has fine white speckles.

Range and Habitat

Black Swift: Breeds from extreme southern Alaska south to southern California and east to Montana and Colorado, and the breeding range extends south into Mexico. Spends winters in the tropics. Resident in Jamaica, Haiti, and Dominican Republic. Preferred habitats include mountains and coastal cliffs.

Breeding and Nesting

Black Swift: One white egg is laid in a moss, grass, and algae nest, well hidden under a waterfall, on a protected sea cliff ledge, or on a canyon wall. Incubation ranges from 24 to 27 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Black Swift: Feeds on flying insects such as caddisflies, mayflies, beetles, flesh flies, and wasps.

Vocalization

Black Swift: More silent than other swifts, occasionally gives a soft, high-pitched twitter.

Similar Species

Black Swift: Chimney and Vaux's swifts have paler throats and breasts and very short, blunt tails. White-throated Swift has white throat and flank patches.

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Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X