Scientific name: Hemiprocne coronata, Tickell, 1833
IUCN Red list status-Least Concern
Did you know?
- Crested Tree-swift got the name due to the presence of the crest above the head.
The Crested Tree swift is a small, slender, aerial bird, measuring about 20 to 25 cm in length and 20-26 Gms in weight. The upper parts are glossy bluish grey and under parts are white. They have an erectile forehead crest. The grey bill is short with a wide gape. The long swept-back wings are a darker grey and when perched, the wingtips will cross each other. The deeply forked tail is white on the underside. The adult male has brownish orange coloration on the sides of the face and the chin. The lore is black. The female is slightly paler than the male.
Crested Tree-swifts are insectivorous, aerial birds and catch most of their prey while flying. The diet mostly consists of bees, wasps, ants, termites, flies and beetles. They intermittently dart out from their perch to catch airborne insects and also glean insects from foliage. They have the ability to drink water and catch water insects while flying above the water surface. The forage time is mainly day and it is done small groups and very rarely solitarily.
Crested Tree-swift species inhabit open woodland and deciduous forests. They are also found in scattered trees, groves, parks and gardens. In India is distributed practically all over the union except North West arid areas. They are also found in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and Sri Lanka.
The breeding season is between December and April in India. There may be local variations depending upon the seasonal conditions. They can copulate both in-flight as well as on perch. The nest is a small, shallow and flimsy half saucer made up of scraps of barks, feathers etc. gummed with the bird’s saliva and it is attached to the upper surface of a slender leafless branch. Normally a single egg is laid and both the parents take turns to incubate it for 20-21 days. Both male and female provide parental care of the hatchling.
The call is a raptor-like, sharp “kee-kyew-kee-kyew” or “whit-uk-whit-uk” sound.
Related Species and Sub Species
- Grey-rumped Tree-swift (Hemiprocne longipennis).
- Whiskered Tree-swift (Hemiprocne comate).
- Moustached Tree-swift (Hemiprocne mystacea).