White-Throated Spinetail

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

White-Throated Spinetail

 

(Hirundapus caudacutus), also white-throated needle-tailed swift, a bird of the family Apodidae of the order Apodiformes. The wing length measures about 21 cm. The legs and tail are short, and the shaft tips of the rectrices protrude 3–5 mm, forming spines that help the bird climb. The plumage is dark brown but is lighter in the middle of the back. The part beneath the tail, the throat, and the spots on the forehead are white.

The white-throated spinetail is distributed from central Siberia and northern Mongolia to Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands, and Japan. It is also found from the Himalayas, western Szechwan and western Indochina to Sumatra and Java. The bird flies superbly. It feeds on insects, which it catches in midflight. The white-throated spinetail nests in colonies. The nests are in hollows and cliffs. Three to seven eggs are laid at one time, which are incubated by both parents (18–20 days); the young are also fed by both parents.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.