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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Spine-Tailed Swift / White-Throated Needletail - the fastest flying bird


The fastest bird, the spine-tailed swift, can fly as fast as 106mph.


White-throated Needletail is capable to drink water in flight.
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Apodidae
Genus: Hirundapus
Species: H. caudacutus

Spine-Tail Swift, commonly known as White-throated Needletail (Hirundapus caudacutus) has long curved wings and white markings. It is the fastest-flying bird in level, flapping flight, being capable of 170 km/h (105mph), faster than other swifts. The plumage of the White-throated Needletail is predominantly grey-brown, glossed with green and the wings are long and pointed. The tail is short and square, with the protruding feather shafts giving a spiky appearance. The throat and undertail are white. It was formerly known as the Spine-tailed Swift, but it is now placed in its own genus. It is also sometimes known as the Storm-bird or Stormbird.

White-throated Needletails often occur in large numbers over eastern and northern Australia. White-throated Needletails are aerial birds and for a time it was commonly believed that they did not land while in Australia. It has now been observed that birds will roost in trees, and radio-tracking has since confirmed that this is a regular activity. The White-throated Needletail feeds on flying insects, such as termites, ants, beetles and flies. They catch the insects in flight in their wide gaping beaks. Birds usually feed in rising thermal currents associated with storm fronts and bushfires and they are commonly seen moving with wind fronts. While feeding, the White-throated Needletail protects its eyes with a special membrane and a small ridge of feathers. The birds also drink in flight.

3 comments:

William said...

The brown-backed, needle-tailed Swift has been clocked at 219 miles per hour, in descending powered flight.

krishna kashyap av said...

Great information..
Very interesting ones..
Thanks a lot for posting.
Make website india

Manasi Maneksh said...

it is the swiftest bird. its speed is 250-300 km/hr.

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