White-throated swift

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White-throated swift
White-throated Swift (Aeronautes saxatalis) in flight.jpg
Spokane County, Washington
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Apodidae
Genus: Aeronautes
Species: A. saxatalis
Binomial name
Aeronautes saxatalis
(Woodhouse, 1853)

Aeronautes saxatalis nigrior
Aeronatues saxatalis saxatalis

The white-throated swift (Aeronautes saxatalis) is a swift of the family Apodidae native to western North America, south to cordilleran western Honduras. It is migratory, and travels to the southern part of its range in winter, as far north along the Pacific coast as the Californian Central Valley; inland its range extends throughout the Great Basin region to extreme southern British Columbia.

Reaching a length of 16.5 cm (6.5 in), with a wingspan of 35.5 cm (14.0 in), the white-throated swift is distinguished from other North American swifts by the whitish throat patch, which extends down to the belly. The upperparts, belly, and sides of the breast are black, and the underwings are gray.

Like all swifts, white-throated swifts use their short legs only for clinging onto vertical surfaces or wires, and never land on the ground voluntarily.


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