Aust birds    Bird names   News   1-26    Habitats    Key plants    Glossary    Plumage    Nests    Tips    Thumbnails    Gen. info    Sponsors    Photos for sale   
NON-PASSERINES     1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10     11     12     13     14 15     16     17     18     19     20     21     22     23     24     25     26     PASSERINES
Common names sorted alphabetically: A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   W   Y  

14

Pacific Swift

(Apus pacificus)
Alternate name(s): "Fork-tailed Swift", "Australian Swift", "White-belted Swift",
"Large White-rumped Swift", "Siberian White-rumped Swift", "Migrant Swift"
Aboriginal name(s): "wirntjala" [tjapwurrung]

Size: 17-18 cm
Weight: 26-52 g

Similar
species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Pacific Swift at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "pacificus"

ADULT

Sex unknown

Near-frontal view of a Pacific Swift in flight
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2019]

Near-lateral view onto the upperparts of a Pacific Swift banking in flight; note the white rump patch
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2019]

Near-lateral/ventral Pacific Swift (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Whittaker's Lagoon, 20 km West of Moree, NSW, February 2013]

Lateral view of a Pacific Swift - click on image to get a feeling for the speed at which the bird was flying (and the difficulty of tracking it)
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2019]

Lateral view of a Pacific Swift in flight, different phases of the wing beat (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Tiwi, NT, October 2018]

Lateral/ventral view of a Pacific Swift in flight
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2018]

Lateral/ventral view of a Pacific Swift in flight; this bird looks to be flying with dangling feet
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2019]

Dorsal/ventral view of a Pacific Swift in flight
[Eulah Creek, NSW, November 2018]

Ventral view of a Pacific Swift in flight; note the scalloped underparts
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2019]

Overview of Pacific Swifts circling together above a hill ridge
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2019]

Distant overview of a flock of Pacific Swifts circling above a hill ridge
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2019]

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Migratory Elementary unit: FLock

Pacific Swifts hunting together with a flock of White-browed Woodswallows
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, December 2012]



Examples of how Pacific Swifts can shape their tails: forked, top, partly fanned, centre, and fully fanned, bottom
(photos courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Tiwi, NT, October 2018]

Pacific Swifts have been observed by us hunting together with White-browed Woodswallows.

Pacific Swifts hunting together with a flock of White-browed Woodswallows
[Mt. Kaputar NP, NSW, December 2012]

Food, Diet

Like other swifts, Pacific Swifts are insect hunters. They catch and devour their prey on the wing.

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

ftswift_20190310_4.m4a (NW NSW) Contact call(?) © MD
ftswift_20190310_1.m4a (NW NSW) Contact calls(?) © MD
ftswift_20190310_2.m4a (NW NSW) Contact calls(?) © MD
ftswift_20190310_5.m4a (NW NSW) Contact calls(?) © MD
ftswift_20190310_6.m4a (NW NSW) Contact calls(?) © MD
ftswift_20190310_7.m4a (NW NSW) Contact calls(?) © MD

More Pacific Swift sound recordings are available at xeno-canto.org .

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.