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Andorinhão pequeno. Apus affinis. Little swift.


LITTLE SWIFT
Apus affinis

Description

This bird, smaller than the other swifts, can be identified by its square tail, broad external wings, white throat patch and well-defined white rump. As this white patch extends to the flanks, it is also visible when the bird is seen from below. This species can be distinguished from the White-rumped Swift by the square tail  and by the greater extension of white in the rump. The subtle differences between the plumages of juveniles and adults make it difficult to assign ages to individuals in flight. This species does not present sexual dimorphism.

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Subspecies

There are six subspecies of Little Swift, with the subspecies Apus affinis galilejensis occurring in Portugal.

Scientific Name Transcription

The term 'Apus' results from the junction of two Greek words A+Pous, meaning 'without+feet'. The specific restrictive 'affinis' has Latin origin and means 'related to or having affinity with', which implies that when the species was described the relation with other swift species was questioned.

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32 to 34 cm

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17 to 20 g

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11 YEARS

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JAN | OCT

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2 to 3 CLUTCHES

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4 to 5 EGGS

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Distribution

Resident species in sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, India and Pakistan, with some breeding populations in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In Portugal, this species is accidental, with scattered records, mainly between March and October, in the south of the country. This species, which generally appears in association with other swifts, is considered a rarity in Portugal, so observations of this species must be reported to the Portuguese Rarities Committee.

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Conservation

The lack of quantitative data does not make it possible to determine with certainty the population trends of this and other species. 

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White-rumped Swift

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Alpine Swift

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