Alternative name: Fork-tailed Swift
- Apus pacificus
Medium large, with deeply forked tail, sexes similar, races differ by shade of color. Upperparts blackish brown with a slight greenish gloss, rump and sides to rump white; chin and throat white; rest of underparts black with feathers tipped white creating a scaly effect. Bill and legs black; eye brown.
Breeds in Siberia to Kamchatka, China, Japan and Taiwan. Migrates south to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, New Guinea, Australia and Tasmania.
Vagrants have been recorded in the european part of Russia, in Britain, Alaska and on Macquarie Island.
Common in most of its range and not globally threatened.
Was formerly considered conspecific with Blyth's Swift, Cook's Swift and Salim Ali's Swift.
Two subspecies recognized:
- A.p. kurodae in the southern part of its breeding range:
- breeds southern Japan, eastern China, Taiwan, and northern Philippines (Batan Islands); winters in south-eastern Asia
- A.p. pacificus in the northern part of its breeding range:
Preferred habitats include mountains and human habitations, usually near water.
Highly gregarious, high flying and fast, this swift can be found flying over towns and sea coasts as well as forested mountains.
Feeds on various insects, taken in flight.
Breeds in spring, exact time differing over range, in Japan from June to August. Nests in colonies on cliff walls, building a half-cup, made with plant parts and agglutinated together with saliva. Lays 1 to 3 eggs.
A long-distance migrant, wintering mainly in Indonesia and Australia.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2011. IOC World Bird Names (version 2.10). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2023) Pacific Swift. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 26 March 2023 from https://www.birdforum.net/opus/Pacific_Swift