White-collared Swift: Very large swift, gray-black overall with blue gloss on breast and back. White collar is distinct. Bill, legs and feet are black. The flight is strong and fast. Rapid shallow wing beats followed with long glides. Soars on thermals and updrafts, ranging many miles daily to feed.
Range and Habitat
White-collared Swift: Accidental in North America. Preferred habitats include mountains, coniferous forests, open forests, and grasslands with scattered trees.
The White-collared Swift is a large swift found in central Mexico, the Greater Antilles, Trinidad, Peru, Argentina and southeastern Brazil. Due to warmer temperate regions, this bird is largely a permanent resident. Nests are cup-shaped and built from mud, moss and chitin. These are placed on cave ledges, and are usually found behind a waterfall. Breeding takes place in mountainous regions, but food is found through much of the lowlands as well. Diets consist of insects such as beetles, bees and flying ants, which are caught in-flight. The conservation rating for this species is Least Concern.
The White-collared Swift was first described in 1796 by George Shaw, an English botanist and zoologist.
It is also known as Antillean Cloud Swift, Ringed Swift, Collard Swift, and Giant White-collared Swift.
This is a highly gregarious species, with flocks of 100 or more birds, and is often foundin company with other swift species.
A group of swifts are collectively known as a "box", "flock", "screaming frenzy", and "swoop" of swifts.