617. Acanthyllis caudacuta

617. NEEDLE-TAILED SWIFT.
ACANTHYLLIS CAUDACUTA.
Acanthllis caudacuta (Lath.), Ind. Orn. Suppl, p. lvii. (1801) ; Gould, B. of Austral, ii. pl. x. ; Newton P.Z.S. 1880, p. 1 ; Dresser, iv. p. 613, pl. 270 ; (Hartert), Cat. B. Br. Mus. xvi. p. 472 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 170 ; Saunders, p. 265 ; Lilford, ii. p. 42, pl. 18.
Ama-tsubame, Jap.
ad. (Siberia). Crown, sides of head, and nape black, glossed with green ; forehead white ; back and rump brown, fading to whity brown on the middle of the back ; wings, upper tail-coverts, and tail black, glossed with bottle green, the inner secondaries white on the inner web ; terminal shafts of tail-feathers naked, spinous and pointed : chin, throat, vent, and under tail-coverts white ; rest of under parts sooty brown, but flanks white, mixed with glossy blue-black ; bill black ; legs livid purplish ; iris brown. Gape 0.75, wing 1.0, tail 2.4, tarsus 0.7 inch. Sexes alike.
Hab. Eastern Asia, as far west as Irkutsk, and north as Jakutsk ; Mongolia, Manchuria, China, and Japan ; Australia and Tasmania in winter ; has been twice obtained in England, but nowhere else in Europe.
As a rule it is a gregarious species being usually seen in flocks, and nests in communities. Like the true Swift it is always to be seen on the wing, and is the swiftest of all the family. Unlike the Swift its note is weak and more like that of the Swallow. Its food consists of insects which it captures on the wing. It breeds in holes in rocks and cliffs and in hollow trees.
I have not seen a nest, which probably resembles that of C. melba, but have two eggs, obtained in Manchuria which are pure white, in grain of shell like those of Cypselus melba, and measure 1.22 by 0.78 and 1.24 by 0.76 respectively.

BookTitle: 
A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Reference: 
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 1. 1902.
Title in Book: 
617. Acanthyllis caudacuta
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
CatNo: 
617
Year: 
1902
Page No: 
431
Common name: 
Needle Tailed Swift
M_ID: 
7624
M_CN: 
White-throated Needletail
M_SN: 
Hirundapus caudacutus
Volume: 
Vol. 1
id: 
10575

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