Crested Treeswifts

The Crested Treeswift (Hemiprocne coronata) is a kind of tree swift. The tree swifts are aerial near passerine birds, closely related to, but distinct from the true swifts.

Distribution / Range

They are restricted to southeast Asia and Australasia.

The Crested Treeswift is a common resident breeder from the Indian subcontinent east to Thailand. It was formerly considered conspecific with its eastern relative, the Grey-rumped Treeswift (Hemiprocne longipennis), but they do not interbreed where their ranges overlap.

These are birds of open woodland and forests.

Crested Treeswift (Hemiprocne coronata) - male with orange cheeks

Nesting / Breeding

The Crested Treeswift builds a tiny nest which is glued to an exposed tree branch.

It lays one blue-grey egg, which is incubated by both sexes.

The nest is so small that incubating birds perch upright on the edge of the nest, covering the egg with their underparts feathers.


The Crested Treeswift is a large slender bird at 23cm length.

This species is dove grey above and white below. The long swept-back wings are a darker grey above. This treeswift has a crest and a long, deeply-forked tail.

The adult male has orange sides to its face.

Young birds have a dark grey head and wings, but the rest of the soft plumage is much streakier than that of the adults.

Crested Treeswift (Hemiprocne coronata)

Diet / Feeding

The Crested Treeswift feeds in the air, living on the insects it catches in its bill. It looks more like a swallow in flight than a swift, but is unrelated to that group. Unlike the true swifts, the treeswifts readily rest on high bare tree branches.

Calls / Vocalizations

The call of this species is a harsh kee-kyew.

Photo of author

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