Scientific Name: Hirundapus giganteus
Malay Name: Layang-layang Besar Biasa
Chinese Name: 褐背针尾雨燕
Range: Found from Indian subcontinent to Southeast Asia
Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: indicus, giganteus.
Local Subspecies: giganteus, indicus
Size: 21-24.5 cm
Identification: Migratory subspecies indicus looks bulky and has mostly blackish body, distinctive white lower flanks and vent, brownish saddle on lower mantle and white loral spot. The resident subspecies of Thai-Malay Peninsula giganteus is larger than indicus and lacks the white loral spot.
Habitat: Forested and open areas.
Behaviour/Ecology: Has fast gliding flight, wings make loud whooshing sound when zooming overhead.
Local Status: Rare migrant and very rare visitor
Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)
Location: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (Summit), Jelutong Tower and Chinese Garden.
- Checklist Revision for June 2023 (Revisions)
Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):
Brown-backed Needletail Hirundapus giganteus Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
BirdLife International. (2016). Hirundapus giganteus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22686687A93122111.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.
Bird Society of Singapore. (n.d.). Brown-backed Needletail. Retrieved on November 25, 2023 from https://singaporebirds.com/species/brown-backed-needletail.