Vauxs Swift (Chaetura vauxi)

Vauxs Swift

[order] APODIFORMES | [family] Apodidae | [latin] Chaetura vauxi | [UK] Vauxs Swift | [FR] Martinet de Vaux | [DE] Graubauch-Segler | [ES] Vencejo de Vaux, Vencejo Comun (Cr), Vencejo de Vaux (HN) | [NL] Vaux’ Gierzwaluw


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Chaetura vauxi NA, LA w Canada to n SA
Chaetura vauxi andrei e Venezuela
Chaetura vauxi aphanes n Venezuela
Chaetura vauxi gaumeri Yucatan Pen. and Cozumel I. (Mexico)
Chaetura vauxi ochropygia e Panama
Chaetura vauxi richmondi s Mexico to Costa Rica
Chaetura vauxi tamaulipensis e Mexico
Chaetura vauxi vauxi w Canada to sw USA to Central America

Physical charateristics

A small, dark, swallowlike bird with no apparent tail (unless spread); “like a cigar with wings.” It appears to beat its wings alternately (actually an illusion), unlike the skimming of swallows. It may glide between spurts, the wings i bowed
in a i crescent. The twinkling flight style marks it as a swift; the range, small size, and dingy underparts as this species.

Listen to the sound of Vauxs Swift

[audio: Swift.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 12 cm size max.: 13 cm
incubation min.: 19 days incubation max.: 20 days
fledging min.: 20 days fledging max.: 21 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 7  


North America, Latin America : West Canada to North South America


Open sky over woodlands, lakes, and river Often feeds low over water, especially in morning or evening or during unsettled weather. Nests in con
iferous and mixed forest, mainly old-growth forest, including redwood, Douglas-fir, grand fir. Resident forms in American tropics are in other habitats; in Yucatan, may nest in wells around Mayan ruins.


May nest in solitary pairs or in colonies. Courtship involves much aerial chasing, sometimes gliding with wings up in sharp V. At some nests, 1 or 2 additional adults may help parents incubate eggs and feed nestlings.
b Nest: Site is usually inside hollow tree, reached via broken-off top or woodpecker hole. Sometim
es nests in chimneys. Both sexes gather nest material by breaking off small twigs from trees while flying. Nest is a shallow half-cup of twigs, glued together and to inside wall of tree with the birds’ sticky saliva.
b Eggs: 6, sometimes 3-7. White. Incubation is by both sexes, 18-19 days.
b Young: Both parents (and sometimes additional helpers) feed young. Feeding visits to nest frequent; average once every 12-18 minutes when young are small. Young capable of flight at 28-32 days, may return to roost at nest s
ite for several days after fledging.

Feeding habits

Mostly flying insects. Feeds on a wide variety of flying insects, including flies, winged ants, bees, moths, aphids, beetles, mayflies, true bugs. Also some spiders and flightless insects.
b Behavior: Forages in rapid flight, pursuing flying insects and capturing them in wide bill. May forage s
ingly or in flocks. Spiders and sedentary insects in diet may have been captured after being carried high by air currents, or taken from trees by swifts while hovering briefly in flight.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Vauxs Swift status Least Concern


Western North America to Venezuela. b Migration:
Migrates by day. North American breeders move south in fall, probably most to Mexico. Small numbers winter in coastal California, and some may migrate southeast to winter along northern coast of Gulf of Mexico.

Distribution map

Vauxs Swift distribution range map

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