Silver-backed Needletail

Scientific Name: Hirundapus cochinchinensis
Malay Name: Layang-layang Besar Rengkung Pudar
Chinese Name: 灰喉针尾雨燕

Found from Nepal, Indian subcontinent to southern China and winters to Southeast Asia except the Philippines


Size: 20.5-22 cm

Resembles Brown-backed Needletail but centre of saddle distinctively silvery-grey and lacks white spot on lores. Distinguished from White-throated Needletail by the paler, brownish-grey throat patch.

Similar looking species: White-throated Needletail, Brown-backed Needletail

Habitat: Forested and open areas.

Behaviour/Ecology: Highly active, only staying at one site for any length of time if drinking or feeding. Often seen in association with Brown-backed Needletail.

Local Status: Rare migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Bukit Timah Nature Park (summit), Dairy Farm Nature Park and Central Catchment Forest.


External Links:
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Photos: Oriental Bird Images
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link

BirdLife International. (2016). Hirundapus cochinchinensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Downloaded on 2 September 2021
Chantler, P. (2000). Swifts: A Guide to the Swifts and Treeswifts of the World. Yale University Press.
Robson, C. (2008). A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers.