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White-chested Swift Cypseloides lemosi

Thomas S. Schulenberg
Version: 1.0 — Published September 28, 2012


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Distribution in the Americas

The distribution of White-chested Swift is poorly known. Originally it was discovered in the Cauca valley, in the Andes of west central Colombia, in the departments of Valley and Cauca; it has been reported here from most of the year (at least February-October; Eisenmann and Lehmann 1962, Collar et al. 1992). All of the few known specimens of White-chested Swift are from the Cauca valley. There also is a sight record (March) from near Leticia, along the Amazon in extreme southeastern Colombia (Downing and Hickman 2002).

White-chested Swift first was reported from Ecuador in 1990, and since then has been reported from several sites along the east slopes of the Andes in the province of Napo and the adjacent lowlands (Collar et al. 1992, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a, Howell 2002). There also is a single sight record from the west slope of the Andes of Ecuador, in Manabí (López-Lanús 2001).

In Peru, Distribution in Peru of White-chested Swift. Open circles; sight records; dotted line: 1000 m contour (Schulenberg et al. 2006)White-chested Swift has been reported from the east slope of the Andes in Amazonas, San Martín, and Cuzco (Schulenberg and Awbrey 1997, Walker et al. 2006, Roesler et al. 2009), and its presence in Peru is documented with tape repordings (Schulenberg and Awbrey) and photographs (Roesler et al. 2009). Similar to the record from southeastern Colombia, there also are sight records from eastern Amazonian Peru on the Río Yanayacu (Roesler et al. 2009), on the Río Yavarí on the border with Brazil (Lane et al. 2003), and also from the Brazilian side of the Yavarí (Kirwan et al. 2006).

There also is a single sight record from Bolivia, at 250 m in the department of La Paz (Roesler et al. 2009).

Breeding of White-chested Swift has not been documented at any site. It is not clear whether White-chested Swift breeds in all Andean countries from Colombia south to Bolivia, or whether at least some of these records are of nonbreeding migrants (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a, Roesler et al. 2009, Schulenberg et al. 2010).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


White-chested Swift usually is observed over montane evergreen forest or (in Amazonia) over lowland evergreen forest; in the Cauca valley, also observed over pasture and low second growth. No nests of this species have been been reported, but presumably it nests on canyon walls, as do other species of Cypseloides.

Historical changes

None reported.

Fossil history

None reported.

Distribution of the White-chested Swift
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the White-chested Swift

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, T. S. (2012). White-chested Swift (Cypseloides lemosi), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.whcswi2.01