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White-throated Swift Aeronautes saxatalis


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White-throated Swift
credit: Michael Woodruff/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Apodidae, Swifts view all from this family

Description ADULT Has mainly blackish upperparts. On under parts, note white throat extending as narrow line down center of chest to vent and white "thigh" patch, both framed by black on side of body; wing coverts are blackish and flight feathers mainly gray, except for white tips to tertials. JUVENILE Similar, but plumage is browner overall.

Dimensions Length: 6-7" (15-18 cm)

Habitat Common near cliffs and canyons, increasingly in cities. Widespread in summer, restricted to southwest in winter.

Observation Tips Like other swifts, easiest to see well on drizzly days when insect prey is low in airspace.

Range Northwest, Western Canada, Plains, California, Texas, Rocky Mountains, Southwest

Voice Utters a rapid, chattering je je je je je, louder than Chimney and Vaux's Swifts.

Discussion Fast-flying swift with well-marked underparts. Wings are narrow and pointed, and forked tail is often held closed, adding to tapered appearance of rear body. Sexes are similar.