Asian Palm Swift
Asian Palm Swift Cypsiurus balasiensis in flight 03
Range Asia from India to the Philippines.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Class Aves
Order Apodiformes
Family Apodidae
Genus Cypsiurus
Species Cypsiurus balasiensis
Conservation Status
Least Concern

The Asian palm swift (Cypsiurus balasiensis), is a species of small swift in the Apodidae family. It is very similar to the African palm swift (Cypsiurus parvus), and was formerly considered to be the same species.

It is a common resident breeder in tropical Asia from India to the Philippines. The down and feather nest is glued to the underside of a palm leaf with saliva, which is also used to secure the usually two or three eggs. This is a bird of open country and cultivation, which is strongly associated with oil palms.

This 16 cm long species is mainly pale brown in color. It has long swept-back wings that resemble a crescent or a boomerang. The body is slender, and the tail is long and deeply forked, although it is usually held closed. The call is a loud, shrill scream.

Sexes are similar, and young birds differ mainly in their shorter tails. Palm swifts have very short legs which they use only for clinging to vertical surfaces, since swifts never settle voluntarily on the ground.

These swifts spend most of their lives in the air, living on the insects they catch in their beaks. Palm swifts often feed near the ground. They drink on the wing.

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