Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed marine as Hirundapus caudacutus
Listed migratory - CAMBA as Hirundapus caudacutus, JAMBA as Hirundapus caudacutus, ROKAMBA as Chaetura caudacuta
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
List of Migratory Species (13/07/2000) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000b) [Legislative Instrument] as Hirundapus caudacutus.
Declaration under section 248 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of Marine Species (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000c) [Legislative Instrument] as Hirundapus caudacutus.
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - Listed Migratory Species - Approval of an International Agreement (Commonwealth of Australia, 2007h) [Legislative Instrument] as Chaetura caudacuta.
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Least Concern (Global Status: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2013.1 list)
VIC: Listed as Vulnerable (Advisory List of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Victoria: 2013 list)
Scientific name Hirundapus caudacutus [682]
Family Apodidae:Apodiformes:Aves:Chordata:Animalia
Species author (Latham,1801)
Infraspecies author  
Other names Chaetura caudacuta [66548]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific Name: Hirundapus caudacutus

Common Name: White-throated Needletail

Other names: Needle-tailed, Spine-tailed or White-throated Swift, Needletail or Northern Needletail, Needle-tailed, Pin-tailed or Prickly Swallow, Prickly Tail or Prickly Swift, Storm Bird (Higgins 1999).

The White-throated Needletail is a conventionally accepted species (Christidis & Boles 1994, 2008; Higgins 1999), though the species was formerly considered conspecific with the White-vented Needletail (Hirundapus cochinensis ) (Sibley & Monroe 1990).

There are two recognized subspecies:

  • nominate subspecies caudacutus occurs in central and eastern Siberia, northern Mongolia, northern China and the Korean Peninsula, Sakhalin and Japan, and migrates to spend the non-breeding season in Australasia
  • subspecies nudipes, which breeds in the Himalayas from northern Pakistan to Assam and south-western China, and is largely resident and does not occur in Australasia (Chantler 1999; Higgins 1999).

The White-throated Needletail is a large (20 cm in length and approximately 115–120 g in weight) swift with a thickset, cigar-shaped body, stubby tail and long pointed wings. Sexes are alike, with no seasonal variation, and juveniles are separable with good visibility. The adults have a dark-olive head and neck, with an iridescent gloss on the crown; the mantle and the back are paler, greyish; and the upperwings are blackish, sometimes with a greenish gloss, with a contrasting white patch at the base of the trailing edge; the uppertail is black with a greenish gloss. The face is dark-olive with a narrow, white band across the forehead and lores and a white patch on the chin and throat. The underparts are generally dark-olive except for a U-shaped band across the rear flanks, the vent and the undertail coverts, and the undertail is black with a greenish gloss. The underwing is black brown with glossy grey-brown flight feathers. The bill is black, the eyes black-brown and the legs and feet are dark grey, sometimes with a pinkish tinge.

Juveniles are generally similar to adults, but in good views can be separated by being generally duller, with little gloss to the plumage; the pale saddle is duller, contrasting less with the head, neck and uppertail; and the white band across the forehead and white patches on the upperwings and the vent and undertail coverts are all less prominent and duller (Higgins 1999).

The White-throated Needletail is generally gregarious when in Australia, sometimes occurring in large flocks, comprising hundreds or thousands of birds, though they are occasionally seen singly, and occasionally occur in mixed flocks with other aerial insectivores, including Fork-tailed Swifts (Apus pacificus) and Fairy Martins (Hirundo ariel) (Learmonth 1950, 1951; McMicking 1925; Wheeler 1959).

The White-throated Needletail is widespread in eastern and south-eastern Australia (Barrett et al. 2003; Blakers et al. 1984; Higgins 1999). In eastern Australia, it is recorded in all coastal regions of Queensland and NSW, extending inland to the western slopes of the Great Divide and occasionally onto the adjacent inland plains. Further south on the mainland, it is widespread in Victoria, though more so on and south of the Great Divide, and there are few records in western Victoria outside the Grampians and the South West. The species occurs in adjacent areas of south-eastern South Australia, where it extends west to the Yorke Peninsula and the Mount Lofty Ranges. It is widespread in Tasmania (Barrett et al. 2003; Blakers et al. 1984; Higgins 1999). White-throated Needletails only occur as vagrants in the Northern Territory (recorded in the Top End, including around Darwin, Katherine and Mataranka and Tennant Creek; and further south around Alice Springs) and in Western Australia (at disparate sites from the Mitchell Plateau in the Kimberley, south to the Nullarbor Plain and Augusta in the South West, and west to Barrow Island, the Houman Abrolhos and the Swan River Plain) (Barrett et al. 2003; Blakers et al. 1984; Brooker et al. 1979; Sedgwick 1978; Slater 1964; Storr 1987; Storr et al. 1986; Wheeler 1959). The species is also a vagrant to various outlying islands, including Norfolk, Lord Howe, Macquarie, Christmas and Cocos-Keeling Islands (Barrand 2005; Green 1989; McAllan et al. 2004; Schodde et al. 1983; Stokes et al. 1984; Warham 1961a).

There are no published estimates of the extent of occurrence of the White-throated Needletail in Australia. The estimated global extent of occurrence is 1 000 000–10 000 000 km² (Birdlife International 2007q).

The area of occupancy of the White-throated Needletail in Australia has been estimated at 126 200 km².

The species occurs at numerous and widespread sites in eastern Australia.

There are no current captive populations of this species and none have been reintroduced into the wild.

The breeding distribution of the White-throated Needletail is fragmented, with two subspecies occurring in different parts of Asia. The nominate subspecies H.c. caudacutus breeds from northern Japan west to central and eastern Siberia, while subspecies H.c. nudipes breeds from south-western China to northern Pakistan, and is largely resident (Chantler 1999). When wintering in eastern and south-eastern Australia, the species is widespread and numerous at many sites (Barrett et al. 2003; Blakers et al. 1984; Higgins 1999).

Breeding distribution
The nominate subspecies caudacutus White-throated Needletail breeds in Asia, from central and south-eastern Siberia and Mongolia, east to the Maritime Territories of Russia, Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands and south to northern Japan and north-eastern China (Chantler 1999; de Schauensee 1984; Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951; Orn. Soc. Japan 2000). Another subspecies, H.c. nudipes, probably breeds in south-western China and the Himalayas in northern India and Pakistan (Ali & Ripley 1970; Chantler 1999; Grimmett et al. 1999b).

On passage
The species is usually recorded on passage through eastern China, the Korean Peninsula and Japan (Chalmers 1986; de Schauensee 1984; Gore & Won 1971; Orn. Soc. Japan 2000). There are few records of birds on passage in South-East Asia (west to the Malay Peninsula and Thailand), and it is thought that they may migrate through areas east of Borneo (Lekagul & Round 1991; MacKinnon & Phillipps 1993; Smythies 1957, 1981; Wells 1999; White & Bruce 1986). Most birds probably migrate through New Guinea, with occasional records in Melanesia (Coates 1985; Dutson 2001; Hicks 1990).

Non-breeding distribution
Most White-throated Needletails spend the non-breeding season in Australasia, mainly in Australia, and occasionally in New Guinea and New Zealand, though it has been suggested that some may overwinter in parts of South-East Asia.

It is widespread in eastern and south-eastern Australia, from the islands in Torres Strait and the tip of Cape York south to Tasmania. There are a few records at scattered sites further west, from the Top End of the Northern Territory south sites on the Nullarbor Plain and west to Barrow Island (Barrett et al. 2003; Blakers et al. 1984; Brooker et al. 1979; Higgins 1999; Sedgwick 1978).

During the non-breeding season the species has also occurred as a vagrant on various outlying islands, including Christmas Island and possibly the Cocos-Keeling Islands in the Indian Ocean (Barrand 2005; Stokes et al. 1984), Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands in the Pacific Ocean (McAllan et al. 2004; Schodde et al. 1983), and Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean (Green 1989; Warham 1961a).

Outside Australia, White-throated Needletails occur as non-breeding visitors to New Guinea (Coates 1985) and New Zealand (Higgins 1999), and a few may possibly also occur on the Malay Peninsula and Indonesia at this time (Glenister 1974; Lekagul & Round 1991; White & Bruce 1986). Vagrants have also been recorded well outside the species' usual range, in the Pacific Ocean in Fiji (Brown & Child 1975; Watling 1982) and the Aleutian Islands (White & Baird 1977), in the south-western Indian Ocean in Madagascar (Dymond 1994), and in Europe (Cramp 1985).

There is no published estimate of the world population of the White-throated Needletail; it is not considered globally threatened (Chantler 1999) and is classified as being of least concern (Birdlife International 2007q). A decline the area of occupancy and the extent of occurrence in eastern and south-eastern Australia was detected between 1977–81 and 1998–2002 (Barrett et al. 2003; Blakers et al. 1984), and with a high proportion of the nominate subspecies wintering in Australia, this may reflect a decline in the overall population. White-throated Needletails occasionally collide with stationary items, such as overhead wires (Cameron & Hinchey 1981; Campbell 1930; Le Souëf 1917; Wheeler 1965a), windows (Slater 1964) and lighthouses (Draffan et al. 1983; Stokes 1983) but this does not pose a threat to the population as a whole. There are no apparent major threats to the species overall, either in Australia or elsewhere.

A large proportion of the White-throated Needletails of the nominate subspecies would occur in Australia as non-breeding visitors. As the Needletails that occur in Australia migrate from breeding areas in the Northern Hemisphere, they would be affected by global threats.

The species has not been well surveyed.

The species' total population is unknown. It is described as 'abundant' in some regions of Australia during the non-breeding season (Chantler 1999).

Though the two subspecies of White-throated Needletails breed in separate populations in the Northern Hemisphere, only one occurs in Australia, where they do not occur as smaller populations.

There is little data to indicate a population trend in the species except a comparison between reporting rates and distribution in Australia between 1977–81 and 1998–2002;. This comparison indicates that the species has undergone a decline in both its area of occupancy and extent of occurrence in Australia (Barrett et al. 2003; Blakers et al. 1984).

The number of Needletails recorded in eastern and south-eastern Australia may vary between years, but it is unclear whether this reflects fluctuations in the actual overall population numbers.

There is no published information on the generation length of the White-throated Needletail.

The key breeding population which affects the Needletails which occur in Australia is that of the subspecies caudacutus, which breeds in central and eastern Siberia, northern Mongolia, northern China and the Korean Peninsula, Sakhalin and Japan (Chantler 1999; Higgins 1999). Within Australia, the major point of entry is the islands of Torres Strait, though this cannot be regarded as a staging point, and does not support a key population as such.

The White-throated Needletail is not known to hybridize with other species in the wild.

Given the White-throated Needletail's widespread distribution in eastern and south-eastern Australia, it has been recorded in many different conservation reserves, but none of these is actively managed for the species.

In Australia, the White-throated Needletail is almost exclusively aerial, from heights of less than 1 m up to more than 1000 m above the ground (Coventry 1989; Tarburton 1993; Watson 1955). Because they are aerial, it has been stated that conventional habitat descriptions are inapplicable (Cramp 1985), but there are, nevertheless, certain preferences exhibited by the species. Although they occur over most types of habitat, they are probably recorded most often above wooded areas, including open forest and rainforest, and may also fly between trees or in clearings, below the canopy, but they are less commonly recorded flying above woodland (Higgins 1999). They also commonly occur over heathland (Cooper 1971; Learmonth 1951; McFarland 1988), but less often over treeless areas, such as grassland or swamps (Cooper 1971; Gosper 1981; Learmonth 1951). When flying above farmland, they are more often recorded above partly cleared pasture, plantations or remnant vegetation at the edge of paddocks (Emison & Porter 1978; Friend 1982; Tarburton 1993). In coastal areas, they are sometimes seen flying over sandy beaches or mudflats (Cooper 1971; Crompton 1936; Davis 1965), and often around coastal cliffs and other areas with prominent updraughts, such as ridges and sand-dunes (Cooper 1971; Dawson et al. 1991; Loyn 1980; Mitchell et al. 1996; Schulz & Kristensen 1994). They are sometimes recorded above islands well out to sea (Brandis et al. 1992; Cooper 1971; Warham 1957).

Feeding habitat
In Australia, White-throated Needletails almost always forage aerially, at heights up to 'cloud level', above a wide variety of habitats ranging from heavily treed forests to open habitats, such as farmland, heathland or mudflats (Learmonth 1951; McDonald 1938; Tarburton 1993; Templeton 1991), though they sometimes forage much closer to the ground in open habitats, once as low as about 15 cm in a coastal saltworks (Watson 1955). They sometimes forage over recently disturbed areas, such as forest that has been recently cleared or burnt, or above paddocks as they are being ploughed or slashed (Blakers et al. 1984; Bravery 1971). They often forage in areas of updraughts, such as ridges, cliffs or sand-dunes (Legge 1927; Loyn 1985a; Mitchell et al. 1996), or in the smoke of bushfires (McCulloch 1966), or in whirlwinds (Le Souëf & Campbell 1902). They often forage along the edges of low pressure systems, which both lift their food sources and assist with their flight, and it is said that they follow these systems across Australia (Boehm 1939). They seldom alight on the ground or vertical substrates to catch insects (Carlyle 1982; McCaskill 1943; Quested 1980).

Roosting habitat
The species has been recorded roosting in trees in forests and woodlands, both among dense foliage in the canopy or in hollows (Corben et al. 1982; Day 1993; Quested 1982; Tarburton 1993), though the number of references to Needletails roosting in trees possibly over-emphasizes such occurrences (Higgins 1999). It has been suggested that they also sometimes roost aerially (Currie 1928; Dove 1919; Schulz & Kristensen 1994), and it was formerly erroneously thought that the species did not alight while in Australia (Pescott 1983).

Breeding habitat
The species breeds in wooded lowlands and sparsely vegetated hills, as well as mountains covered with coniferous forests (Chantler 1999; Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951).

White-throated Needletails may take refuge during extreme conditions. Many birds were seen perching on the trunks of trees during a bushfire (Currie 1916; Currie 1928); during cold weather, one was found roosting during the day in the hollow branch of a eucalypt (Pettigrew & Wilson 1985) and some were seen sheltering in stunted scrub during bad weather on the high plains (Paterson 1930). They may also alight on the trunks or branches of trees during hot or inclement weather (Davies 1982; Littler 1910a; Loyn 1980; Whackett 1989; Wheeler 1959); and there is a record of Needletails resting on a lawn under sprinklers during hot weather (Davies 1982).
The species does not rely on a listed threatened ecological community.

There are no published details of the ages of sexual maturity or life expectancy of the White-throated Needletail. When in Australia, Needletails are sometimes eaten by raptors, such as the Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans), Australian Hobby (Falco longipennis), Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) and Barking Owl (Ninox connivens) (Barnes et al. 2005; Czechura 1984; Hollands 2003; Mooney 1983; Olsen et al. 2006), and an injured Needletail was killed and eaten by a Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) (Wheeler 1952).

This species does not breed in Australia (Higgins 1999). The White-throated Needletail lays eggs from late May to early June (Chantler 1999). The nest is placed in a vertical hollow in a tall coniferous tree or on a vertical rock-face, either comprising a small bracket or half-cup of thin twigs and straw cemented together by the bird's saliva and glued to the side of the hollow or rock (Roberts 1991), or a shallow scrape among debris accumulated at the bottom of a tree hollow (Chantler 1999). Clutches usually comprise two eggs (Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951; Yamashina 1962) but some may be as large as seven eggs (Chantler 1999), and these are incubated by both sexes for 21 days (Roberts 1991) or 40 days (Chantler 1999). The chicks, which are blind and naked when they hatch, fledge after 40–42 days (Chantler 1999; Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951; Yamashina 1962).

During the non-breeding season in Australia, the White-throated Needletail has been recorded eating a wide variety of insects, including beetles, cicadas, flying ants, bees, wasps, flies, termites, moths, locusts and grasshoppers (Cameron 1968; Dove 1918; Lea 1938; Madden 1982; McKeown 1944; Rose 1997a; Tarburton 1993; Tryon 1908).

In Australia, White-throated Needletails almost always forage aerially, at heights up to 'cloud level', though usually much lower (Cameron 1968; Davis 1965; Tarburton 1993). They often forage in areas of updraughts, such as ridges, cliffs or sand-dunes (Legge 1927; Loyn 1980; Mitchell et al. 1996), or in the smoke of bushfires (McCulloch 1966), or occasionally in whirlwinds (Le Souëf & Campbell 1902); and Needletails often forage along the edges of low pressure systems, which both lift their food sources, and assist with their flight (Boehm 1939). They do not pursue individual insects, but repeatedly dive through swarms of insects, taking prey which is almost in a direct line of flight, and then regain their original height before diving again, circling through prey-rich sites (Cameron 1968). They seldom alight on the ground or other substrates to catch insects (Carlyle 1982; McCaskill 1943; Quested 1980), and have also very occasionally been seen foraging by launching into the air from trees in pursuit of flying insects (McCaskill 1943; Quested 1980), or clinging to flowers on eucalypts, searching for insects (Wheeler 1956).

The nominate subspecies caudacutus of the White-throated Needletail is a trans-equatorial migrant, breeding in the Northern Hemisphere and flying south for the boreal winter (Chan 2001; Chantler 1999; Dingle 2004; Higgins 1999).

Departure from breeding grounds
After breeding in eastern Siberia, north-eastern China and Japan, the species leaves the breeding grounds between late August and October, flying singly or in scattered flocks (Chantler 1999; Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951).

Southern passage
The southern passage from the breeding grounds takes Needletails through eastern China and Japan between August and November (Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951; La Touche 1931-34), and the Korean Peninsula mainly between September–October (Gore & Won 1971). Most birds apparently migrate east of Borneo (Smythies 1957, 1981), as the species is seldom recorded along the Malay Peninsula or in Indonesia (Coates & Bishop 1997; MacKinnon & Phillipps 1993; Wells 1999; White & Bruce 1986), usually between late September and late November (McKean et al. 1975; Medway & Wells 1976; Smythies 1981). Passage may, however, be extremely rapid, thus poorly detected (White & Bruce 1986). In Papua New Guinea, most records, presumably of birds on southern passage, occur between September and November (Bell 1970; Coates 1985; Hicks 1990; Rand & Gilliard 1967).

Non-breeding season in Australia
White-throated Needletails mainly enter Australia via the Torres Strait, usually during September and October, and sometimes in early November (Draffan et al. 1983; Warham 1962), and less often via the Arafura Sea (Warham 1962). The mean date of the first sighting in Australia is 22 October (standard deviation of 27.62 days between a range of 1 September and 27 December; 42 years of observations between 1911 and 1994; Higgins 1999). After reaching Australia, they move south along both sides of the Great Divide in Queensland and NSW in October and November, usually arriving in southern parts of their range (Victoria and Tasmania) in November, with increasing numbers recorded from December and peaking in March, and some may remain until April (Emison et al. 1987; Higgins 1999). Numbers recorded in NSW and Queensland apparently increase in February and March, as northward movements begin, as some birds leave Australia in February, but most leave between mid-March and April (Higgins 1999), with at least some, and probably most, birds flying north across Torres Strait (Draffan et al. 1983). A few birds occasionally remain in Australia during the breeding season (Higgins 1999).

Northern passage
When undertaking northern migration to return to their breeding grounds, most White-throated Needletails pass through New Guinea in March and especially in April (Eastwood & Gregory 1995; Hicks 1990) and are thought to mostly travel east of Borneo (Smythies 1957, 1981). The few records of birds on northward passage through Indonesia are all in March and April (Coates & Bishop 1997; Smythies 1957, 1981; White & Bruce 1986), and there are only a few records on the Malay Peninsula, between March and mid-May (Medway & Wells 1976; Wells 1999). They are also recorded passing through Hong Kong between mid-March and mid-May (Chalmers 1986; Chantler & Driessens 1995), and eastern China in May (La Touche 1931-34).

Arrival back at breeding grounds
White-throated Needletails arrive back at their breeding grounds in mid-May (Chantler 1999; Chantler & Driessens 1995; Dement'ev & Gladkov 1951).

Home ranges and territories are not maintained while the birds are in Australia.

The species is quite distinct, as it is larger than other swifts that occur in Australia, such as the Fork-tailed Swift, and its blunt tail instantly distinguishes it from that species. Needletails may occur at great elevations, where they are visible only as 'specks in the sky' (Cooper 1971) and only visible with the aid of binoculars, but when flying at lower altitudes are readily detectable as long as the observer is alert to the possibility that the species may be present and looks skyward regularly, as White-throated Needletails quietly circling at heights of a hundred metres or so may be easily missed by unwary birdwatchers, even though they may be present in good numbers.

It is difficult to conduct systematic surveys of the White-throated Needletail due to its mobility and ability to cover huge distances in a day. In the past there have been attempts to survey the species by soliciting and collating sightings from scattered observers at disparate sites throughout the species' range in Australia between 1951 and 1967 (Bouchier & Noonan 1962; Noonan et al. 1964, 1967; Wheeler 1952, 1957), but though they were organized, these cannot be considered to have been systematic. Any surveys must be conducted between October and April in northern and eastern Australia, and between December and March in south-eastern Australia, when numbers of White-throated Needletails are highest. It has been suggested that White-throated Needletails are often associated with the arrival of frontal weather changes or atmospheric disturbances (Higgins 1999), which would influence the timing of any surveys, but this correlation has been refuted (Higgins 1999).

There appear to be few threats to the populations of White-throated Needletails.

When in Australia, there is the constant threat of collision with overhead wires (Cameron & Hinchey 1981; Campbell 1930; Le Souëf 1917; Wheeler 1965a), windows (Slater 1964) and lighthouses (Draffan et al. 1983; Stokes 1983), though, as this affects only a few individuals, it is not a threat to the species overall.

On the species' breeding grounds it was formerly hunted with nets placed near their breeding cliffs, and by using a decoy bird (Le Souëf 1907).
The biological characteristic of the species which may poses a threat to its survival is that it regularly flies for thousands of kilometres over some of the most densely populated areas of the world, where the huge human population places enormous pressure on natural resources.

Due to the limited nature of any threats to the species and its mobility, there are no threat abatement or recovery actions either underway or proposed.

There have been no mitigation measures developed specifically for this species.

There have been no major studies which have dealt specifically with the White-throated Needletail in Australia.

There is no key management documentation available for the species, but there is a detailed summary of all that is known of the species in Australasia in Higgins (1999), and international summaries in Chantler (1999) and Cramp (1985).

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation Hirundapus caudacutus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006nj) [Internet].
Biological Resource Use:Hunting and Collecting Terrestrial Animals:Direct exploitation by humans including hunting Hirundapus caudacutus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006nj) [Internet].
Residential and Commercial Development:Housing and Urban Areas:Fauna collision with human infrastructure such as windows Hirundapus caudacutus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006nj) [Internet].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Utility and Service Lines:Collision with human infrastructure Hirundapus caudacutus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006nj) [Internet].

Ali, S. & S.D. Ripley (1970). Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan. Volume 4, Frogmouths to Pittas. Bombay: Oxford University Press.

Barnes, C.P., A.B. Rose & S.J.S. Debus (2005). Breeding behaviour and diet of a family of Barking Owls Ninox connivens in south-eastern Queensland. Australian Field Ornithology. 22:182-195.

Barrand, P.D. (2005). White-throated Needletail Hirundapus caudacutus: a new bird for Christmas Island. Australian Field Ornithology. 22:104-105.

Barrett, G., A. Silcocks, S. Barry, R. Cunningham & R. Poulter (2003). The New Atlas of Australian Birds. Melbourne, Victoria: Birds Australia.

Bell, H.L. (1970). Field notes on birds of the Nomad River sub-district, Papua. Emu. 70:97-104.

Birdlife International (2007q). Species factsheet: Hirundapus caudacutus. <>; viewed on 11 April 2008. [Online]. Available from:>.

Blakers, M., S.J.J.F. Davies & P.N. Reilly (1984). The Atlas of Australian Birds. Melbourne, Victoria: Melbourne University Press.

Boehm, E.F. (1939). The Fork-tailed Swift (Micropus pacificus, Latham 1801): with special reference to its occurrence in South Australia. South Australian Ornithologist. 15:54-58.

Bouchier, M. & D. Noonan (1962). Notes on swifts -- 1962-1962. Bird Observer. 371:2-4.

Brandis, C.C.P., C.J. Chafer, & L.E. Smith (1992). Seabirds recorded off Wollongong, New South Wales 1984-1990. Australian Bird Watcher. 14:165-179.

Bravery, J.A. (1971). Sight record of Uniform Swiftlet at Atherton, Qld. Emu. 71:182.

Brooker, M.G., M.G. Ridpath, A.J. Estbergs, J. Bywater, D.S. Hart & M.S. Jones (1979). Bird observations on the north-western Nullarbor Plain and neighbouring regions, 1967-1978. Emu. 79:176-190.

Brown, B. & P. Child (1975). Notes on a field trip to Fiji. Notornis. 22:10-22.

Cameron, A.C. (1968). Feeding habits of the Spine-tailed Swift. Emu. 68:217-219.

Cameron, R. & M. Hinchey (1981). An apparently immature White-throated Needletail in Australia. Australian Bird Watcher. 9:68.

Campbell, A.G. (1930). Notes on swifts. Emu. 29:308.

Carlyle, J. (1982). More on landings of White-throated Needletails. Bird Observer. 611:97.

Chalmers, M.L. (1986). Birds of Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Bird Watching Society.

Chan, K. (2001). Partial migration in Australian landbirds: a review. Emu. 101:281-292.

Chantler, P. (1999). Apodidae (swifts) species accounts. In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal, eds. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 5. Barn-owls to Hummingbirds. Page(s) 419-457. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions.

Chantler, P. & G. Driessens (1995). Swifts. Robertsbridge, UK: Pica Press.

Christidis, L. & W.E. Boles (1994). The Taxonomy and Species of Birds of Australia and its Territories. Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union Monograph 2. Melbourne, Victoria: Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union.

Christidis, L. & W.E. Boles (2008). Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. Collingwood, Victoria: CSIRO Publishing.

Coates, B.J. (1985). The Birds of Papua New Guinea. Volume 1. Alderley, Queensland: Dove Publications.

Coates, B.J. & K.D. Bishop (1997). A Guide to the Birds of Wallacea Sulawesi, The Moluccas and Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia. Alderley, Queensland: Dove Publications.

Cooper, R.P. (1971). High flying swifts. Australian Bird Watcher. 4:79-80.

Corben, C., G. Roberts & A. Smyth (1982). Roosting of a White-throated Needletail. Sunbird. 12:47-48.

Coventry, P. (1989). Comments on airborne sightings of White-throated Needletails Hirundapus caudacutus. Australian Bird Watcher. 13:36-37.

Cramp, S. (1985). Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa: The Birds of the Western Palearctic. Volume 4. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Crompton, A. (1936). Spine-tailed Swift Hirundapus caudacutus. South Australian Ornithologist. 13:183-184.

Currie, C.C. (1928). Spine-tailed Swifts perching in Victoria. Emu. 28:76.

Currie, K. (1916). Swifts resting on trees. Emu. 16:108.

Czechura, G.V. (1984). Peregrines in Queensland. Journal of Raptor Research. 18:81-91.

Davies, J. (1982). Daylight landings of White Throated Needletails. Bird Observer. 609:76.

Davis, W.A. (1965). Field notes from South Gippsland. Australian Bird Watcher. 2:134-138.

Dawson, P., D. Dawson, I. Reynolds & S. Reynolds (1991). Notes on the birds of Logan Reserve, southeast Queensland, 1967-1990. Sunbird. 21:93--111.

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Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Hirundapus caudacutus in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Thu, 2 Oct 2014 19:42:01 +1000.