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Version 1.0

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White-tipped Swift Aeronautes montivagus

Rachel Wallace
Version: 1.0 — Published October 10, 2014


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Distribution in the Americas

White-tipped Swift occurs in montane regions from the tepuis and the coastal mountains of Venezuela south through the Andes to northwestern Argentina.

In the tepui region, White-tipped Swift probably occurs throughout the tepuis of Bolívar and Amazonas (Hilty 2003) and from adjacent northern Brazil (Friedmann 1948). It also is reported from montanes sites in Guyana (Parker et al. 1993, Barnett et al. 2002, Braun et al. 2007) and from Tafelberg, the easternmost tepui, in central Suriname (Zyskowski et al. 2011), but in both countries remains known only from sight records.

White-tipped Swift also occurs in the coast ranges of Venezuela, and in the Venezuelan Andes (Hilty 2003). It occurs throughout the Colombian Andes, south, on the Pacific slope, through western Ecuador to the west slope of the Andes of northwestern Peru (Hilty and Brown 1986, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a, Donegan et al. 2007, Schulenberg et al. 2010); and south along the east slope of the Andes to northwestern Argentina (Hilty and Brown 1986, Mazar Barnett et al. 1998, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a, Hennessey et al. 2003, Schulenberg et al. 2010).

Although generally considered to be resident, White-tipped Swift can disappear from some sites for months at a time (Hilty 2003).

The elevational range of White-tipped Swift in the tepui region of Venezuela is ca 500-1900 m, but is 800-2600 m in coastal and Andean Venezuela (Hilty 2003); in Ecuador in primarily occurs at 1500-2000 m, but has been reported 600-3200 m (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a); the typical elevational distribution in Peru is 1200-2400 m (Schulenberg et al. 2010), but locally it occurs to 3000 m (Walker et al. 2006); and in Bolivia White-tipped Swift is reported from 500-2600 m, rarely to 3400 m (Hennessey et al. 2003).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


White-tipped Swift usually forages over montane evergreen forest (Hilty and Brown 1986, Parker et al. 1996, Hilty 2003, Schulenberg et al. 2010), but locally occurs in more xeric intermontane valleys, especially in Ecuador and in northern Peru (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a, Schulenberg et al. 2010).

Historical changes

None reported.

Fossil history

None reported.

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

Recommended Citation

Wallace, R. (2014). White-tipped Swift (Aeronautes montivagus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.whtswi1.01