Silver-backed Needletail

This species is defined as a rarity. Please submit your records of this species via our record submission page.

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

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

Taxonomy:
Monotypic.

Size: 20.5-22 cm

Identification:
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, Silver-rumped Spinetail

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)

Past accepted records in our database: (not a complete listing)

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 (Silver-backed Needletail)

References:
BirdLife International. (2016). Hirundapus cochinchinensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22686684A93121901.en. Accessed on 19 December 2021

Chantler, P. (2000). Swifts: A Guide to the Swifts and Treeswifts of the World. Yale University Press.

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