House Swift

Scientific Name: Apus nipalensis

Malay Name: Layang-layang Sabit Biasa

Chinese Name: 小白腰雨燕

Range: Found throughout Southeast Asia.

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: nipalensis, subfurcatus, furcatus, kuntzi.

Local Subspecies: subfurcatus

Size: 14-15 cm

Identification: Overall blackish plumage with whitish throat, broad clear white rump-band, long scimitar-shaped wings and squarish tail that is only slightly notched.

Similar looking species: Pacific Swift, Common Swift

Habitat: Forested, open and urban areas.

Behaviour/Ecology: Feeds on flying insects, mainly flying ants, termites, bees, wasps and beetles. They also go for other tidbits that they can snatch on the wing like spiders.

Local Status: Uncommon resident

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Central Catchment Forest, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Bishan Park, Pinnacle@Duxton, Punggol Barat, Lorong Halus, Tuas South and Pulau Ubin.

Featured articles:


BirdLife International. (2016). Apus nipalensis. 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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