White-throated Needletail

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

Scientific Name: Hirundapus caudacutus

Malay Name: Layang-layang Besar Utara

Chinese Name: 白喉针尾雨燕

Range: Found from Siberia to Central and Northeast Asia and winters to the Indian subcontinent, Southern China, Southeast Asia, New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: caudacutus, nudipes.

Local Subspecies: nudipes, caudacutus

Size: 21-22 cm

Identification: Resembles the other two migratory Needletail species with cigar-shaped body but has the diagnostic clearly defined white throat. Juvenile has less glossy underparts.

Similar looking species: Silver-rumped Spinetail, Silver-backed Needletail, Brown-backed Needletail

Habitat: Forested and open areas.

Behaviour/Ecology: Forages aerially and has also been observed to roost in trees.

Local Status: Uncommon migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2019)

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Past records in our database:

Showing only accepted records. Note that records currently under review are also not displayed, and the list may not be a full list of records of this species in Singapore. For more details, check the database here.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

White-throated Needletail Hirundapus caudacutus
Average number of individuals by week based on Singapore Bird Database data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023 (all records)
Peak week Nov 12-Nov 18
Early date 16 Oct 2021
Late date 05 Apr 2008
Only recorded as a passage migrant, and nearly all records are from mid-Oct to mid-Nov with only a few sporadic records on northward passage in Mar and Apr.


BirdLife International. (2019). Hirundapus caudacutus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22686677A155548867.en. 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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