Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Cook's Swift

Thai: นกแอ่นตะโพกขาวแถบแคบ, nok aen taphok khaw thaep khaep

Binomial name: Apus cooki, Harington, 1913

The Cook's swift (Apus cooki), is a small bird, superficially similar to a house martin. It is, however, completely unrelated to those passerine species, since swifts are in the order Apodiformes. The resemblances between the groups are due to convergent evolution reflecting similar life styles.

These birds have very short legs which they use only for clinging to vertical surfaces. The scientific name comes from the Greek απους, apous, meaning "without feet". They never settle voluntarily on the ground. Blyth's Swifts spend most of their lives in the air, living on the insects they catch in their beaks.

Cook's swifts breed in limestone caves of Thailand, Myanmar and Indochina. The species has a green iridescence, a shallow tail fork and is a short distance migrant. A 2011 study has many taxonomists splitting this species from the fork-tailed swift complex.

These swifts build their nests on cliffs, laying 2-3 eggs. A swift will return to the same site year after year, rebuilding its nest when necessary.

Cook's swifts are similar in size to common swift, and they are black except for a white rump. They can be distinguished from a partially leucistic common swift by the deeper tail fork, longer wings, bigger head and larger white throat patch.

This article uses material from Wikipedia released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike Licence 3.0. Eventual photos shown in this page may or may not be from Wikipedia, please see the license details for photos in photo by-lines.

Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Apodiformes
Family
Apodidae
Genus
Apus
Species
Apus cooki

Common names

  • Thai: นกแอ่นตะโพกขาวแถบแคบ, nok aen taphok khaw thaep khaep

No photo for this species yet

Distribution map of Cook's Swift, Apus cooki in Thailand

Range map of Apus cooki in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

Contribute or get help with ID

Please help us improving our species range maps. To add a new location to the range map we need a clear image of the specimen you have encountered. No problem if you do not know the species, we will do our best to identify it for you.

For the location, please provide the district name or the national park/ wildlife sanctuary name.

Please post your images to our Thai Species Identification Help group on Facebook.