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Palau Swiftlet - BirdForum Opus

Aerodramus pelewensis

Identification

A small (11cm) Swiftlet.

  • Black-brown upperparts, rump grey-brown
  • Underparts dull grey, pale on throat, darker on undertail-coverts
  • Short tail, slightly forked
  • Unfeathered tarsi

Similar Species

Similar to Guam Swiftlet and Caroline Swiftlet but the only Swiftlet on Palau.

Distribution

Found on larger islands of Palau in the South Pacific.
Common or even abundant but a species with a very small range.

Taxonomy

Like other Aerodramus Swiftles this species is often placed in Collocalia.
Formerly considered conspecific with Mossy-nest Swiftlet, Uniform Swiftlet, Guam Swiftlet and Caroline Swiftlet. The five species form now a superspecies.
Monotypic.

Habitat

Found over highland ridges and near gorges. Avoids deep forest.

Behaviour

Feeds on insects, taken in flight. Big flocks at dusk, smaller flocks during the day.
Breeding season in October. Nests colonial in caves, presumed to be capable of echolocation. Builds a flat net with moss and fine grass. Lays one egg.
Resident.

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