Swifts (Apodidae)

Common Swift (Apus apus) - HBW 5, p. 452

French: Martinet noir German: Mauersegler Spanish: Vencejo Común
Other common names: (Eurasian/European/Northern) Swift

Taxonomy: Hirundo Apus Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden.
Forms superspecies with A. unicolor and A. niansae; has been considered conspecific with both, and also with A. barbatus. Birds breeding in SW Asia have been separated in race marwitzi, but not widely accepted. Israeli population somewhat intermediate between nominate race and pekinensis. Two subspecies normally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • apus (Linnaeus, 1758) - W Palearctic E to L Baikal, SE towards Iran; winters mainly from Zaire and Tanzania S to Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
  • pekinensis (Swinhoe, 1870) - Iran E through W Himalayas to Mongolia and N China; winters primarily in Namibia and Botswana.