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Bird name:

Alpine Swift

Apus melba

Order

APODIFORMES

Family

Swifts (Apodidae)

BTO 2

AI

BTO 5

ALPSW

Euring 5

07980
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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

UK Conservation Status


Not Assessed

European Conservation Status


Conservation Description


The Alpine Swift is a casual passage migrant in the UK, Isle of Man, and Ireland with around ten records per year. It is most likely to occur over coastal areas. The conservation status for this species is "not assessed" in the UK because it only occurs as a casual migrant, and is not a species of conservation importance in Europe.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Alpine Swift: Large swift with very long wings. Black-brown upperparts, white throat and belly, black-brown breast band. Short to medium tail is forked, black-brown undertail coverts. Fast, long distance flights with much soaring, powerful wing beats. May be difficult to spot when flying very high above the ground.


Range and Habitat

Alpine Swift: Summers in mountainous areas across southern Europe to the Himalayas. Winters in central and southern Africa. Found year-round in Madagascar and parts of India and Africa. A scarce annual visitor with most records from March to October. In the UK, it can occur above any type of habitat, but on its breeding grounds, prefers mountainous areas with cliffs.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Xeno-Canto Sound

Alpine Swift Q1

  • Title: Alpine Swift Q1
  • Recordist: Stuart Fisher
  • Description: Contact calls given in flight.
  • Location: tr
  • Date: "August 15, 2016"

Alpine Swift Q2

  • Title: Alpine Swift Q2
  • Recordist: Stuart Fisher
  • Description: Repeated "kee" calls.
  • Location: tr
  • Date: "August 15, 2016"

Alpine Swift I1

  • Title: Alpine Swift I1
  • Recordist: David Farrow
  • Description: Typical call is a "peeee, ti-ti-titititi-ti-ti".
  • Location: uz
  • Date: "August 15, 2016"

Voice Text

"kee", "peeee, ti-ti-titititi-ti-ti", "pee-hu"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • A group of swifts is called a "flock" of swifts.
  • Forages for food higher than most swifts.
  • Population is estimated to be between one and four million.
  • Will feed at night, or in total darkness.

RELATED BIRDS

RANGE MAP

Range Map for Alpine Swift

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Artist

Chris Vest

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.

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ITIS CodesX

The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at http://www.itis.gov/advanced_search.html. You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

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Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX