Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Whiskered Treeswift (Hemiprocne comate). All Birds Considered.

Inspired by David Attenborough’s book, The Life of Birds, is a monthly spin-off segment of my blog called “All Birds Considered”, which I hope will bring attention to some of the more unusual, and lesser known birds of our world.

The Life of Birds by David Attenborough
Species; Whiskered Treeswift (Hemiprocne comate)

Introduction; The Whiskered Treeswift (Hemiprocne comata) is a species of bird in the family Hemiprocnidae. It is found in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

Description; 6”. Small size, 2 white stripes on face and bronzy brown plumage with metallic blue-back head, wings and tail diagnostic. Under tail coverts and spot at end of tertiaries white. Male has chestnut ear patch. Makes short, dashing flights from regular perch. 

Whiskered Treeswift (Hemiprocne comata)
Image Property of HBW Alive/Alex Berryman
Voice; The Whiskered Treeswift is quieter than the largest species of this family. The contact call between pair-members includes high-pitched “chew” or “kweeo”, and series of short notes “kwee kwee, kwi-kwi-kwi-kwi” or “she-she-she-SHEW-she”. These calls are uttered while the birds are flying or perched.

Behavior; The Whiskered Treeswift feeds primarily on insects. It hunts from perches where it sits in upright posture, and from where it can have a good all-round vision of the surroundings. 

Whiskered Treeswift (Hemiprocne comate)
Image Property of Ingo Waschkies/Oiseaux Birds
Very agile in flight, it chases insects and small flying arthropods, even amongst the foliage but well below the canopy. The preys are usually taken on the wing, but it also picks off the food items when perched, or by hanging from the tip of a small branch. It may perform short sallies from its perch, close to the surface of the vegetation.

Habitat; Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, subtropical or tropical mangrove forest, and subtropical or tropical moist montane forest.

Conservation and population; Least Concern (IUCN 3.1). Bird Life International (2012). "Hemiprocne comata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.



The Life of Birds by David Attenborough, 1998.

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