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House swift I IMG 3260

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Subordo: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Neoaves
Superordo: Caprimulgimorphae
Ordo: Apodiformes

Familia: Apodidae
Subfamilia: Apodinae
Tribus: Apodini
Genus: Apus
Species: Apus affinis
Subspecies: A. a. abessynicus – A. a. aerobates – A. a. affinis – A. a. bannermani – A. a. galilejensis – A. a. gyrator – A. a. singalensis – A. a. theresae

Apus affinis (J.E. Gray, 1830)

Original combination: Cypselus affinis


Illustrations of Indian zoology 1 pt2 pl.35 fig.2

Vernacular names
čeština: Rorýs domovní

Ελληνικά: Μικροσταχτάρα

English: Little Swift
Esperanto: Malgranda apuso
français: Martinet des maisons
日本語: ニシヒメアマツバメ
Nederlands: Huisgierzwaluw
српски / srpski: Мала чиопа, Mala čiopa
svenska: Stubbstjärtseglare

The little swift (Apus affinis), is a small species of swift found in Africa and southwestern Asia, and are vagrants and local breeders in southern Europe. They are found both in urban areas and at rocky cliffs where they build nests in a way typical of all members of the order Apodiformes. The genus name Apus is Latin for a swift, thought by the ancients to be a type of swallow without feet (from Ancient Greek α, a, "without", and πούς, pous, "foot"). The Latin specific affinis means similar to or related to, but in this case the species that the little swift supposedly resembles is not clear from the description.[3] A population formerly considered to be an eastern subspecies of little swift is now separated as a distinct species, the house swift (Apus nipalensis).


Little swifts are readily identified by their small size. Their wingspan is only 33 cm compared to 42 cm in the case of common swift. Their plumage is black except for a white throat and rump, the white rump patch extending onto the flanks. They have a short square tail, with all rectrices round-tipped. The flight is fluttering like that of a house martin, and the call is a high twittering. Like other swifts they are very short-legged. The legs are used for clinging to vertical surfaces only.
Habits and foraging

Little swifts spend most of their lives in the air, living on the insects they catch in their beaks. They drink on the wing, but roost on vertical cliffs or walls. They never settle voluntarily on the ground.

Unlike the more northerly common swift, many birds are resident, but some populations are migratory, and these winter further south than their breeding areas. They wander widely on migration, and are seen as rare vagrants in much of Europe and Asia.

Little swifts breed around habitation and cliffs from southern Spain,[4] Africa northeastwards through southern Pakistan and India and Sri Lanka. They build their nests in holes in buildings or sometimes on cliffs, laying 1–4 eggs. A little swift will return to the same site year after year, rebuilding its nest when necessary. A species of bedbug Cimex hemipterus has been recorded from its nest in India.[5][6]


BirdLife International (2016). "Apus affinis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22686856A89562931. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22686856A89562931.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
Phil Chantler & Gerald Driessens (2000). A Guide to the Swifts and Tree Swifts of the World. Pica Press. ISBN 1-873403-83-6.
Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 35, 52. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
BirdLife International (2013) Species factsheet: Apus affinis. Downloaded from on 13/10/2013. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2013) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 13/10/2013.
Horvath G (1912). "Revision of the American Cimicidae". Ann. Hist. Nat. Mus. Hungary. 10: 257–262.
Hicks, Ellis A (1959). Checklist and bibliography on the occurrence of insects in birds' nests. Iowa State College Press, Ames.

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