1 minute read

Tree Swifts: Hemiprocnidae

Behavior And Reproduction

Tree swifts are usually sedentary, staying in one area throughout the year. Birds roost, rest, during the daytime and perch standing up on branches. Tree swifts are crepuscular (kri-PUS-kyuh-lur) and nocturnal; they become active at twilight or in the evening.

Tree swifts form small groups, but they have been seen in flocks of up to fifty gray-rumped tree swifts. Birds flock to chase flying insects.


Some tree swift species are more social than others. Crested tree swifts form groups of six to twelve birds. They have little to do with other species. Whiskered tree swifts may be alone, in pairs, or in groups of six birds. However, the whiskered birds do not mind sharing their tree with gray-rumped tree swifts. Gray-rumped tree swifts just perch higher in the trees, which probably helps the two species get along.

Tree swifts are monogamous (muh-NAH-guh-mus), they have only one mate. Tree swifts build tiny nests out of feathers and pieces of bark. Like other Apodiformes, tree swifts build nests with saliva, the watery liquid in their mouths. Their salvia hardens as it dries, so swifts use saliva to glue the saucer-shaped nest together. The female lays one egg. Both parents incubate the egg, keeping it warm, until it hatches after approximately three weeks. Birds fledge, grow feathers needed for flight, about three weeks later.

Predators that hunt tree swifts for food include snakes and larger birds.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsTree Swifts: Hemiprocnidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Behavior And Reproduction, Crested Tree Swift (hemiprocne Coronata): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, DIET, TREE SWIFTS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS