Brown-backed Needletail

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.

Similar looking species: Silver-rumped Spinetail, White-throated Needletail, Silver-backed Needletail

Habitat: Forested and open areas.

Behaviour/Ecology: Has fast gliding flight, wings make loud whooshing sound when zooming overhead.

Local Status: Uncommon migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (Summit), Jelutong Tower and Chinese Garden.

Photos:

External Links:
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page ↗
Photos: Oriental Bird Images ↗
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link ↗
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link ↗
eBird Species page: eBird (Brown-backed Needletail) ↗

References:
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 19 December 2021
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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