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Species Guide
A photo of a Silver-backed Needletail (Hirundapus cochinchinensis)
Silver-backed Needletail

Silver-backed Needletail

Hirundapus cochinchinensis

The Silver-backed Needletail, known scientifically as Hirundapus cochinchinensis, is a swift of remarkable agility. This avian species is a member of the Apodidae family, characterized by their streamlined bodies and crescent-shaped wings, which are well-adapted for a life spent predominantly on the wing.

Identification Tips

To identify the Silver-backed Needletail, one should look for its distinctive silver-grey back which contrasts with the darker shades of its surrounding plumage. Its body is sleek and aerodynamic, a testament to its life in constant motion.


The natural habitat of this swift is the subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, where it can be seen darting through the canopy with remarkable speed.


The Silver-backed Needletail is found across Southeast Asia, gracing the skies of Sumatra, Java, and Taiwan. It is also known to be a vagrant to Christmas Island, where its presence is a rare but delightful sight for birdwatchers.

Conservation Status

The conservation status of the Silver-backed Needletail is currently listed as Least Concern by the IUCN. This indicates that, for now, the species is not at immediate risk of decline. However, as with all wildlife, continued monitoring is essential to ensure its future security.

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Silver-backed Needletails on Birda

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Akharachai Rojbundit
18 Feb 2023 - 5:46pm

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