Antillean palm swift

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Antillean palm swift
DRbirds Antillean Palm Swift c.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Apodidae
Genus: Tachornis
T. phoenicobia
Binomial name
Tachornis phoenicobia
Gosse, 1847
Tachornis phoenicobia map.svg

The Antillean palm swift (Tachornis phoenicobia) is a small swift. It has distinctive black-and-white markings on its underparts, rump, and throat, making it one of the most unmistakable species of swifts in North America.

Diet and breeding[edit]

The Antillean palm swift's diet consists mainly of insects that it takes in from the air columns or from the surface of the water. These gregarious birds form small to medium-size flocks. They breed year-round in colonies around coastal areas in the dead fronds that hang from palms. While the nesting biology of this bird is poorly known, estimated incubation period by both sexes is 18 – 21 days. The altricial young are brooded by the female and stay in the nest for an estimated 20 – 28 days, being fed by both parents. They typically have 1 to 2 broods a year.


This species has a large range, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 190,000 km2. It is fairly common in its native range in the Greater Antilles of the Caribbean, from lowland Cuba and Isla de la Juventud, the Cayman Islands, Hispaniola (in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti), Puerto Rico, and Jamaica, though accidental vagrants have been observed as far north as the Florida Keys at least twice.


Two subspecies are known:[2]

  • Tachornis phoenicobia iradii (Lembeye, 1850) - found on Cuba and Isla de la Juventud;
  • Tachornis phoenicobia phoenicobia Gosse, 1847 – nominate subspecies; found on Jamaica, Hispaniola and surrounding islands, and Puerto Rico


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Tachornis phoenicobia". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22686742A93124942. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22686742A93124942.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. ^ Frank Gill; David Donsker, eds. (2015). "Owlet-nightjars, treeswifts & swifts". IOC World Bird List v 5.1. Retrieved 20 February 2015.