Blythes Swift on Cocos

To: "'Birding Aus'" <>
Subject: Blythes Swift on Cocos
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 12:31:26 +1100
On Richard Baxter's recent tour to Cocos (6-13 December) some 'Fork-tailed
Swifts' were seen and photographed. Four of that taxonomic group were raised
to specific status by Paul Leader in 2011 and those splits have now been
accepted by the IOC. On the basis of five characters, it is my opinion that
at least some of the birds we saw were Blythe's Swift Apus leuconyx contra
Pacific Swift A. pacificus, the common taxon occurring on mainland
Australia. A submission to BARC is in preparation. It is interesting to note
that according to Rasmusson & Anderton 2012 'Birds of South Asia', in the
area north of Cocos, only two of the Fork-tailed Swift complex are known to
occur, Blythe's and Salim Ali's Swift, with no records of our Pacific Swift.
This situation may be similar to the assumption made by David James and Ian
McAllan in their recent Review of the Birds of Christmas Island in
Australian Field Ornithology that Oriental-type Cuckoos occurring on
Christmas Island are in fact Himalayan Cuckoos based on their more western


Mike Carter, 03 9787 7136

30 Canadian Bay Road

Mount Eliza, VIC 3930, Australia  







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