Whiskered Treeswift  – calls, social behaviour

posted in: birds, Miscellaneous, Vocalisation | 0

I was surprised to see five Whiskered Treeswifts (Hemiprocne comata comata) together in one location. I have almost always seen them in pairs. I have seen three before, where there was a courtship ‘battle’ for a female. But on this occasion 5 birds were amicably together on a bare tree, foraging intermittently and extremely vocal; at least 2 were female and 2 males.

Wells (1999), on social organisation, states “Nearly always a territorial pair .… or at most a pair plus recent offspring …. A no stage do Grey-rumped Treeswift-type gatherings form ….” Chantler (Chantler P. 1995. Swifts: A Guide to the Swifts and Treeswifts of the World) says “Usually seen alone, or in pairs, although can be seen in groups of up to six”. The group of five birds showed no conflict and even sat of the same branch.

Sonogram and waveform.

As I mentioned, they were very vocal together. Both males and females vocalised and often at the same time. I took the opportunity to get call recordings. Calls made were the high pitched, up to 16 kHz and of the ‘kwi-kwi-kwi’ or ‘shi-shi-shi’ variety. One recording is here: https://www.xeno-canto.org/521176 and the sonogram and waveform is shown.


Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr) – Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Trail along primary jungle

Date: 2nd January 2020

Equipment: Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone

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