Pacific Swift

Scientific Name: Apus pacificus
Malay Name: Layang-layang Sabit Asia Timur
Chinese Name: 白腰雨燕
Alternative Name(s): Fork-tailed Swift (old)

Found from Siberia, China, Japan, Korea to Taiwan, wintering and passage migrant to Hong Kong, mainland Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Australia.

Polytypic. Subspecies are: pacificus, kanoi.

Local Subspecies: pacificus

Size: 18-19.5 cm

Brownish upperpart plumage, long sickle-shaped wings and sharply forked tail separate it from House Swift. Distinguished from the similar looking Asian Palm Swift by its larger size, whitish throat and diagnostic white-rump band.

Similar looking species: Grey-rumped Treeswift, Asian Palm Swift, House Swift, Common Swift

Habitat: Open habitat and forested areas.

Behaviour/Ecology: Feed on small insects egs. bees, wasps, termites, moths and flies taken in flight.

Local Status: Uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant.

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2019)

Location: Central Catchment Forest, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Punggol Barat, Southern Ridges, Tuas South, Pulau Ubin and Singapore Straits.


BirdLife International. (2019). Apus pacificus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019. Accessed on 19 December 2021

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