Pallid Swift

Swifts have very short legs which they use only for clinging to vertical surfaces. The scientific name comes from the Greek απους, apous, meaning without feet. They never settle voluntarily on the ground. Swifts spend most of their lives in the air, living on the insects they catch in their beaks. They drink on the wing.

Picture of the Pallid Swift has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution.
Original source: stavros karabinas from Thessaloniki, Greece
Author: stavros karabinas from Thessaloniki, Greece

The Pallid Swift is classified as Least Concern. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.

the "heavier" body form, the Pallid Swift can often seem to have a clear waistline where the chunky body reduces down to the thinner tail region. The three top tips for spotting a Pallid Swift in a crowd are probably to look for: * the hips * paler secondaries on a brown background when seen from above (common swift is uniformly dark), and * the "feather scaling". More

The Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus) is a small bird, superficially similar to a Barn Swallow or House Martin. It is, however, completely unrelated to those passerine species, since the swifts are in the order Apodiformes. The resemblances between the groups are due to convergent evolution reflecting similar life styles. Swifts have very short legs which they use only for clinging to vertical surfaces. The scientific name comes from the Greek απους, apous, meaning "without feet". More

Pallid Swift ; Nikon D100, Nikkor VR 80-400mm lens. Pallid Swift ; Nikon D100, Nikkor VR 80-400mm lens. Pallid Swift ; Nikon D100, Nikkor VR 80-400mm lens. Pallid Swift ; Nikon D100, Nikkor VR 80-400mm lens. Pallid Swift ; Nikon D100, Nikkor VR 80-400mm lens. Pallid Swift ; Nikon D100, Nikkor VR 80-400mm lens. More

Pallid swift perched on top of roof tiles Pallid swift perched on top of roof tilesPrint factsheet Facts - French: Martinet Pâle Kingdom Animalia Phylum Chordata Class Aves Order Apodiformes Family Apodidae Genus Apus (1) More

The pallid swift is a small, highly aerial bird with a forked tail and crescent-shaped wings (5). Its name comes from the Latin word ‘apous’ meaning ‘without feet’, which actually refers to its very short legs, and the word ‘pallidus’ meaning ‘pale’ (4) (5), in reference to the greyish buff-brown plumage. The pallid swift has a large light-coloured patch on the throat and a light forehead, and the wings are also lighter than the body and have a dark leading edge (6). More

Pallid Swift determination Similar species Apodidae Alpine Swift | Chimney Swift | Fork-tailed Swift | Pallid Swift | Plain Swift | Swift | White-Rumped Swift | White-Throated Needletail | Links to European databases Pallid Swift EU report (PDF) Birdlife factsheet of Pallid Swift Pallid Swift EU population trend (PDF) Pallid Swift EU species More

For the purposes of our bird news services, Pallid Swift is classed as Rare: species currently considered for acceptance by the British Birds Rarities Committee (or forms of equivalent rarity). More

Pallid Swift was spotted on the West Coast - the first one ever seen alive in South Africa. The Pallid Swift, which breeds around the Mediterranean and eastwards to Pakistan, migrates south in the northern winter, but normally does not venture beyond the region immediately south of the Sahara. More

The Pallid Swift, at 16-17 cm long, is similar in size to the Common Swift. It has slightly rounder wing tips and a bit shorter tail-forks. The brown plumage is a little lighter. The white patch at the throat is larger. In flight, both species can be very difficult to distinguish from one another. However, their voices are distinct which is a very useful feature allowing easy identification even without the necessity of the birds to be seen. More

than Pallid Swift and I have my own thoughts on what it was – but as our recorder said of the 1999 swift “near misses don’t count”. More

- 50 years experience, studied Pallid Swift at University, BWP contributor, has both Common and Pallid Swift nesting in his house! Like many expert opinions coming in, he didn't see the bird - but it is a significant endorsement. I wish I could have put this info. on earlier in the week! Bon Voyage. Anyway - as always FBOG will send 'the file' to YNU + BBRC and abide by their decision. More

struggling over vagrant Pallid Swifts in the UK people have commented to me how much harder they are to identify in dull English light than they are in Mediterranean sunshine in southern Europe. They are wrong! They were just as hard here in Portugal! Every now and then a Pallid Swift showed well enough to be able to identify it positively, but most didn't. Call was a useful indicator. More

Pallid Swifts breed on cliffs and eaves around the Mediterranean and on the Canary Islands and Madeira, laying two eggs. Like swallows, they are migratory, winter in southern Africa or southeast Asia. They are rare north of their breeding areas, although they are likely to be under-recorded due to identification problems. More

Pallid swift when compared with Common and Plain swift presents a more brownish coloration and wider wings though the main differentiation is its white throat and chin. Distribution This species spreads all over the South of Europe, along the Mediterranean coasts and islands. It is also common in the South and Centre Portugal and in Madeira. These are winter migratory birds to Africa. More

been only two previous records of Pallid Swift in Shetland, both of which had been short-stayers, it seemed important to give others the opportuntity to see the bird, even if (as happened) we were ultimately proved to be wrong in our initial identification. The bird was present for the remainder of the day and was seen by a good number of birders. More

Monday 29 March 2010 - PALLID SWIFT in Suffolk - 28/03/2010 PALLID SWIFT at Kessingland, Suffolk Just twenty odd minutes north of the LESSER KESTREL was another top notch rarity, a lingering PALLID SWIFT (181), complete madness. Upon arrival the bird showed very well around the sewage works for about twenty minutes before a rain front moved up the coast from the south and pushed it off, never to be seen again for the remainder of the day. More

Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus) by Juan Malo de Molina from Spain XC34170 :: Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus brehmorum) = Recording data Recordist Juan Malo de Molina Date 16-05-2009 Time 08:20 Country Spain Location Marbella, Malaga, Andalucia Longitude W4.52'50" Latitude N36. More

* He said a pallid swift had been seen near the Country Park at Filey. * A full moon shone on the grounds of the Hall, its round pallid face like an idiot's. * Large patches of her pallid skin were exposed to the sunlight. * Pallid harrier: one juvenile at LSF on 24th. More

Order : Apodiformes
Family : Apodidae
Genus : Apus
Species : pallidus
Authority : (Shelley, 1855)