Fun Asian Palm Swift Facts For Kids

Gurpuneet Kaur
Oct 20, 2022 By Gurpuneet Kaur
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Engage yourself in reading some fun and interesting Asian palm swift facts.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.4 Min

The beauty of the bird flying in the sky can never fail to impress us, humans. Several species of bird have conquered the sky and an Asian palm swift, Cypsiurus balasiensis is one of them.

Swifts are classified into 75 species of agile, fast fliers from the family Apodidae. It is similar to one of the species from the same genus Cypsiurus, an African palm swift (Cypsiurus parvus). In history, both species of palm swift were considered the exact same.

The Asian palm swift is a small swift found around Asia. Its distribution range from India in the south to the Philippines in the southeast.

The palm swift is closely associated with the oil palms. It prefers to spend most of its time in the air, catching insects through its beak during its flight. The bird feeds near the ground and drinks when on its wing.

An interesting fact about the identification of its feather nest is that the nest is glued using its saliva to the underside of the palm leaf. It has a loud shrilling call. The Asian palm swifts have shorter tails, crescent-shaped wings, and short legs.

If the uniqueness of the Asian palm swift makes you interested to read more about similar species, you can read about green heron and sanderling.

Asian Palm Swift Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Asian palm swift?

An Asian palm swift, Cypsiurus balasiensis, is a species similar to the African palm swift, Cypsiurus parvus. It is a small swift and was initially considered the same species. It has four subspecies: Cypsiurus balasiensis balasiensis, Cypsiurus balasiensis infumatus, Cypsiurus balasiensis bartelsorum, and Cypsiurus balasiensis pallidior.

What class of animal does an Asian palm swift belong to?

The Asian palm swift, Cypsiurus belongs to class Aves and the family Apodidae. More specifically, it belongs to the genus Cypsiurus with African palm swift (Cypsiurus parvus) and Malagasy palm swift (Cypsiurus gracilis) being part of the subfamily. At a point in time, now history, they were considered to be conspecific.

How many Asian palm swifts are there in the world?

While the Asian palm swift range map highlights several countries of Asia – from India to the Philippines in the southeast – there is no data classifying the size of the population of Asian palm swifts around the world.

On the other hand, the loud shrilling call of the bird is quite common in the regions where the Asian palm swift is found.

The species are listed as Least Concern species under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Where does an Asian palm swift live?

The Asian palm swift location ranges from India to the Philippines including Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, and other southeastern countries of Asia. For the question of whether the populations of Asian palm swift migrate or not, by studying the speculations recorded, the bird is considered a non-migratory bird.

What is an Asian palm swift's habitat?

The Asian palm swift habitat ranges from open agricultural lands to breeding areas comprising oil palm trees. Palm leaf is an essential component recorded around its habitat as the feather nest of the species are glued to the underside of it using the saliva, wherein eggs are laid by the birds.

The bird is known to spend most of its life in the air.

Who do Asian palm swifts live with?

The Asian palm swift, Cypsiurus balasiensis, lives in pairs or flocks. Also, it makes loud flight call foraging on its prey, communicating to the members of its group.

How long does an Asian palm swift live?

The lifespan of the Asian palm swift, Cypsiurus balasiensis, remains a mystery. There are no reports specifying the number of years the bird lives up to.

How do they reproduce?

The Asian palm swift, Cypsiurus balasiensis, breeds all year-round. The palm trees are the most common roosting sites. Also, the bird is recorded to mate while on its wing.

The feather nest build by the bird is half cupped shaped and glued on the flat palm leaf using the bird's saliva. Two or three eggs are laid by the female birds in the feather nest on the palm leaf. The eggs hatch into young chicks that depend on their parents for around six to ten initial weeks.

What is their conservation status?

The Asian palm swift, Cypsiurus balasiensis, often found around southeast Asia, is categorized as one of the Least Concern species under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

On the other hand, the loud flight call of the bird is quite common in Asia – especially India and its neighboring countries – and is currently not threatened by any sort of risk.

Hence, it is not Endangered.

Asian Palm Swift Fun Facts

What do Asian palm swifts look like?

The Asian palm swift, Cypsiurus balasiensis, looks similar to the African palm swift (Cypsiurus parvus). It is small and slender in size and Asian palm swift feathers have gray-brown plumage.

Its short legs assist the bird to cling to vertical surfaces. On the other hand, its tail is deeply forked, while the swept-back wing on either side is long and its shape resembles a crescent.

While male and females birds cannot be differentiated as they have the same appearance, the young birds, hatched from the eggs, have shorter tails.

Asian Palm Swift

How cute are they?

While the identification of an Asian palm swift is pretty easy with its small size, it is speculated to be a cute species. Also, the bird's flight and its loud flight call are a pleasure to sight and to be heard.

How do they communicate?

The Asian palm swift communicates using vocalizations like its flight call. Its call sounds like a loud twittering shrill. The call is often heard around the palm trees.

How big is an Asian palm swift?

An Asian palm swift is 4.7-5. in (12-13 cm) long. Although it is a small swift, it is four times the size of a common swift.

How fast can an Asian palm swift fly?

An Asian palm swift is a capable flier with considerable speed as it is speculated to be a fast-flying bird.  

How much does an Asian palm swift weigh?

The weight of an Asian palm swift varies between 0.1-0.3 oz (3-10 g). On the other hand, the heaviest bird recorded so far is an ostrich, weighing up to 308 lb (140 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The Asian palm swift male and Asian palm swift female do not have a sex-specific name.

What would you call a baby Asian palm swift?

An Asian palm swift's baby is often called a chick, nestling, hatchling, or fledging.

What do they eat?

The palm swift feeds on a variety of insects such as grasshoppers, moths, beetles, crickets, airborne spiders, termites, flies, flying ants, dragonflies, cicadas, mantises, and locusts. The birds are aerial foragers catching insects using their beaks.

Are they poisonous?

No, palm swifts are not recorded to be poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

There are varying speculations if an Asian palm swift makes a good pet or not. While it is considered a free bird, it has not been recorded to be kept in captivity so far.

Did you know...

Formerly, the subspecies of palm swift – African (Cypsiurus parvus), Asian (Cypsiurus balasiensis), and Malagasy (Cypsiurus gracilis) – were considered conspecific. Later on, individual subspecies of birds were identified.

The call of the palm swift is known to sound like a twittering shrill.

The palm swifts do not migrate. The birds may change their location post migrate but are not considered migratory birds.

How did Asian palm swifts get their name?

Asia – India and other southeastern countries – is its native origin and the close association with oil palms gave rise to the name Asian palm swift.

How do you identify an Asian palm swift?

The birds can be identified by their small and slender size and the association with the oil palms, especially a palm leaf which is used to glue the nest on its upperside wherein eggs are laid.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our cockatoo facts and red-backed shrike facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Asian palm swift coloring pages.

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Written by Gurpuneet Kaur

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gurpuneet Kaur picture

Gurpuneet KaurBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

As a skilled content writer, Gurpuneet has written and managed engaging content for multiple websites and companies. Driven by a passion for helping young people achieve their full potential, she brings a unique perspective to her work. She is currently pursuing a degree in Economics from Sri Guru Gobind Singh College Of Commerce. With extensive experience as a tutor, Gurpuneet has made a significant impact by providing guidance and academic support to students. Her dedication extends beyond tutoring as she has volunteered with Action India, where she offered medical assistance and educational aid to underprivileged communities. Additionally, Gurpuneet has contributed to the creation of student study guides for various educational agencies.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

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Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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