Fun Whiskered Treeswift Facts For Kids

Anusuya Mukherjee
May 17, 2023 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed
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Whiskered treeswift facts about a clever bird species.

There are a total of four species in the Hemiprocnidae family namely the grey-rumped treeswift, crested treeswift, mustached treeswift, and lastly the whiskered treeswift. The treeswift species is closely related to the true swifts and only differ anatomically.

Both are equally sociable species however, the treeswifts don't travel as far to feed as true swifts. In this article, we will take a look at some fun and interesting facts about the whiskered treeswift (Hemiprocne comata).

Treeswifts are mostly sedentary birds i.e. they reside in one place throughout the year and may move occasionally however, they are in most instances caught in flight and very rarely seen sitting. They are found in lower elevations in forested areas and woodlands.

The species have a highly maneuverable fast flight. The whiskered treeswift (Hemiprocne comata) can be considered endemic to Brunei, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Indonesia places as well. Read on to find out more.

To discover more birds of the world, visit sanderling and house wren facts.

Whiskered Treeswift Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a whiskered treeswift?

The whiskered treeswift (Hemiprocne comata) is a type of bird belonging to the Hemiprocnidae family.

What class of animal does a whiskered treeswift belong to?

The whiskered treeswift belongs to the Aves class of species and the Hemiprocne genus.

How many whiskered treeswifts are there in the world?

The exact number of tree swift species in the world is not known. There is a handbook of 'The birds of the world' written by Nicole Bouglouan and other authors like Del Hoyo where detailed information related to such species and others is available for all to further delve.

To know more about any species of birds you could discover them all in 'Birds of the world'.

Where does a whiskered treeswift live?

Treeswifts occupy almost every geographic habitat type available from the mangrove forests to the hills as well as evergreen to deciduous forests. They reside in tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests in countries like Brunei, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Indonesia as well as in certain parts of India.

They reside in a habitat that is suitable for fulfilling all their necessities including food, shelter, breeding, and migration.

What is a whiskered treeswift's habitat?

The crested treeswift is found in a variety of habitats such as humid forests and deciduous forests. As the name suggests, all whiskered treeswifts live in evergreen forested trees and deciduous forest areas and the woods.

They are also seen in mangroves and along clearings in lowland and foothill wet forests. Their nest is built and glued to an open tree branch.

Who do whiskered treeswifts live with?

The whiskered treeswift (Hemiprocne comata) has a decreasing population trend and its population size is not known. They are mostly seen in flight and are solitary birds and come together only for mating and taking care of the young ones until they are independent. They coexist with other wild species in the forests.

How long does a whiskered treeswift live?

The exact whiskered treeswift lifespan is not known however, treeswift species have an average life expectancy of two to five years. The oldest bird that ever lived as recorded is the Laysan Albatross which had a chick at the age of 70 years.  

How do they reproduce?

Most treeswifts lay white to gray eggs from February to August. Breeding pairs are extremely territorial and monogamous.

Both the male and female build nests however, the nest is brittle and not strong enough to support an adult bird's weight hence the adult sits on the branch instead of the nest itself like other bird species. The nest is usually built between 8-40 m above the ground.

Males have chestnut ear patches while female has bluish-green ones. The male and female mate and post-mating the females lay one egg per litter.

Fertilization takes place within the female's body, iteroparous offspring are produced. Males and females of the species take care of the chicks, however, the female takes more care as compared to her male counterpart.

The chicks develop outside of the mother's womb and are born without any feathers and have legs and feet which are pale pinkish brown. A fledged juvenile may be fed by the female for up to three weeks after leaving the nest.

What is their conservation status?

The whiskered treeswift (Hemiprocne comata) is classified as a Least Concern species by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature (IUCN).

Whiskered Treeswift Fun Facts

What do whiskered treeswifts look like?

The whiskered treeswift is the smallest species of the Hemiprocnidae family. They differ from other swifts in matters of plumage, which is softer and they have crests, not swifts, and can perch. They also have diastataxic wings - they lack a fifth secondary feather.

Their long wings and their forked tail are deep blues. Their underwing shows blue coverts and white tertial flight feathers. The contrast between these white lines and their dark head is strong.

They have a boldface pattern. Males have chestnut ear patches while female has bluish-green ones. Their eye color is dark brown and their legs are purplish-brown.

A whiskered treeswift on a branch.

How cute are they?

They are extremely unique and cute birds to look at. Treeswifts are effective in helping control the insect populations in and around the world too since they are primarily insectivores.

How do they communicate?

Whiskered treeswifts are relatively silent as compared to the other three species of the same family. They communicate via calls primarily. The first is a contact call which is specifically for pair members.

This is usually a high-pitched 'chew' or 'kweeo'. Apart from this, they utilize a series of short calls as well which are uttered when the birds are in flight or perched. This includes a series of short notes like 'kwee kwee' or 'she-she-she-shew-she'.

How big is a whiskered treeswift?

The whiskered treeswift is 5.9-11.8 in (15-30 cm) in length which is 10 times bigger than the smallest bird in the world, the bee hummingbird which is 2.4 in (5-6.1 cm) long.

How fast can a whiskered treeswift fly?

Long-tail streamers are typically fast fliers. They are mostly seen in flight and rarely seen sitting on the branch of a tree. They have sharp eyesight to spot possible prey as well as sense any possible sign of predators.

How much does a whiskered treeswift weigh?

Whiskered treeswift males weigh 21-21.7 g and females weigh 20.2-26 g. This depends on various factors like their diet and environment.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female whiskered treeswifts are not addressed differently.

What would you call a baby whiskered treeswift?

The baby whiskered is referred to as an egg when it's inside the mother's womb and referred to as a chick once it's born like other species of baby birds.

What do they eat?

The whiskered treeswift is primarily an insectivore. The whiskered treeswift diet consists of small flying anthropods. It feeds closer to vegetation beneath the canopy and only rarely ventures into outer spaces. They look for prey while in flight.

Are they dangerous?

These birds are not dangerous as long as their space is not meddled with. They are territorial birds and are seldom seen out in the sight of humans. Their instant mode to combat any danger is their flight instinct.

Would they make a good pet?

They are innately wild animals and thrive in their natural environment hence adopting such wild birds as pets is not such a good idea. Keeping them restricted in small spaces can impact their health as well as their lifespan by reducing their quality of life.

They also are not capable of being trained like other pet species of birds animals.

Did you know...

There is an application called Merlin which you can install on your phones and it helps you identify which species of bird you just saw. It also saves memories. You just need to take a picture of the species and fill out some basic questions. The app leads you to information and articles related to the species of birds!

The whiskered treeswift is recognized as a popular bird by various people living in and around Asia. It is popularly known as ‘nok aen faa ngon’ and is a species seen in the Thai national park as well.

Where do whiskered treeswifts rest at night?

Whiskered treeswifts rest on the branches of trees at night. They do build nests however adults can't rest in their own nest with young birds since the nest is brittle and can break at any point.

How many eggs do whiskered treeswifts lay?

Whiskered treeswift lays only one egg per litter and the egg color varies from white to gray. The young birds are extremely small in size and cute in appearance although they are seldom seen out in the open.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including California quails or grouse.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our whiskered treeswift coloring pages.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

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Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed

Bachelor of Law

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Abdulqudus MojeedBachelor of Law

A versatile professional with a passion for creative writing and technology. Abdulqudus is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Law from the University of Lagos and has experience as a tutor, intern assistant, and volunteer. He possesses strong organizational skills and is a detail-oriented person.

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