Asian Palm Swift

Scientific Name: Cypsiurus balasiensis

Malay Name: Layang-layang Palma Asia

Chinese Name: 棕雨燕

Range: Found throughout Southeast Asia.

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: balasiensis, infumatus, bartelsorum, pallidior.

Local Subspecies: infumatus

Size: 11-12 cm

Identification: Resembles common swiftlet from far but has rather uniform greyish brown plumage, pale throat, long slender, sickle-shaped wings and distinctive long, deeply forked tail which appears long, narrow and pointed when closed. Looks very similar but is much smaller, more slender-looking and lack the diagnostic white rump-band of the Pacific Swift.

Similar looking species: Grey-rumped Treeswift, Pacific Swift, Common Swift

Habitat: Open habitat and urban areas.

Behaviour/Ecology: Feed on small insects egs. flying ants, termites and beetles taken in flight.

Local Status: Uncommon resident

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Central Catchment Forest, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Bidadari, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Kent Ridge, Lorong Halus, Pulau Ubin, Thomson Road.

Featured articles:


BirdLife International. (2016). Cypsiurus balasiensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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