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

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

Polytypic. Subspecies are: caudacutus, nudipes.

Local Subspecies: nudipes, caudacutus

Size: 21-22 cm

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: Formerly a very rare vagrant, it has been annual in small numbers since 2017. Change in status is the subject may in some part be due to the increased observer coverage of Henderson Waves during migration season.

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2019)

Featured articles:

Featured reports: Oct 2022, Nov 2022

Past accepted records in our database:

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

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.