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Bates's Swift - BirdForum Opus

Apus batesi


14 cm; a small dark Apus swift.

  • Plumage deep black with an indistinct grey chin and throat
  • Deeply forked slim tail

Similar pecies

Bates's Swift is more slender than Little and House Swifts. It is noticeably shorter than the similar Schoutendenapus spp.


West and Central Africa. Found locally in Zaire (Kivu) and Central African Republic, further from Cameroon along the coast to Gabon, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Has been recorded from the Upper Guinea forest region between Guinea (Conakry) and Benin and these may represent an unknown population or vagrants.

Generally rare and local, but not globally threatened.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Found over hilly rainforest, with crags and cliffs used by Cliff Swallow spp for nesting.



Winnowing flight in which only the wingtips appear to move, and very few glides. Does not "jink" into turns but swerves rather elegantly.


Apparently uses old Cliff Swallow spp. nests for breeding.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.