White-rumped spinetail

   ›      ›   White-rumped spinetail - Zoonavena sylvatica.

The white-rumped spinetail (Zoonavena sylvatica) belongs to the family of swifts and swiftlets, Apodidae.

These spinetail species are distributed in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. The white-rumped spinetail species are fast flying aerial birds. These spinetail species have weak small legs, useful only for clinging to vertical surfaces. The white-rumped spinetail is a monotypic species.

Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

White-rumped spinetail - Overview

  • Scientific name: Zoonavena sylvatica
  • Species author: (Tickell, 1846)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Acanthylis sylvatica Tickell, 1846
  • Family: Apodidae › Apodiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: White-rumped spinetail, Chinese: 白腰针尾雨燕, French: Martinet indien, German: Hindusegler, Spanish: Vencejo indio, Russian: Индийский иглохвост, Japanese: インドハリオアマツバメ, Indonesian: Burung Celepuk Asia, Malay: Burung Jampuk Kecil
  • Other names: Indian White-rumped Needletail, Indian White-rumped Spinetail, White-rumped Spine-tail Swift
  • Distribution: India, Nepal, Bangladesh
  • Diet and feeding habits: beetles, moths, crickets, grasshoppers, cicadas, wasps
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)
The white-rumped spinetail is closely related to Madagascan spinetail (Zoonavena grandidieri) and São Tomé spinetail (Zoonavena thomensis).

Appearance, physical description and identification

The white-rumped spinetail (Zoonavena sylvatica) is a small aerial bird, measuring 11 to 14 cm in length and weighing about 15 grams.
These species have small spinetail with short square tail. The head is relatively large for the body. The upperpart is darker and the lower part is whitish. The rump is whitish. It has weak legs and like all swifts, it is incapable of perching, and can only cling vertically to surfaces. It has distinctive wing shape and the outer wing is hooked and the midwing appears bulged.
Indian birds - Picture of White-rumped spinetail, Zoonavena sylvatica
Birds of India - Image of White-rumped spinetail - Zoonavena sylvatica

Origin, geographical range and distribution

These white-rumped spinetail species are distributed in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. It occurs south of Himalayas in Central India, Eastern India, Southwest India and the Western Ghats. The spinetail also occurs in Southeast Bangladesh.

Ecosystem and habitat

These white-rumped spinetail species are moderately forest dependent. They inhabit various ecosystems. They inhabit plantations, subtropical forests, tropical forests, tropical moist lowlands, subtropical moist lowlands, tropical and subtropical montane forests and submontane forests. They occur in altitudes from 0 to 1700 meters.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these spinetail species is mostly flying insects. Insects like grasshoppers, locusts, cicadas, moths, butterflies, airborne spiders, beetles and wasps are the primary food. They fly in small groups over the forest canopy catching insects. They also prefer hunting their prey in open areas in the forest.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these white-rumped spinetail species is from March to April in northern India. The breeding season is from February to May in Western Ghats. The nest is half-cup shaped and is glued to hard vertical surfaces.

Migration and movement patterns

These white-rumped spinetail species are sedentary and resident birds in their range.
Post breeding dispersal of the juveniles takes place. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding. Altitudinal movements may take place in winter.

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the white-rumped spinetail (Zoonavena sylvatica) is not quantified. The overall population size of these spinetail species is considered to be stable. Throughout its ranges it is common to uncommon. The generation length is 7.2 years.

The white-rumped spinetail (Zoonavena sylvatica) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable either under the range size criterion or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion. Habitat loss is the main threat to the survival of these spinetail species.

IUCN and CITES status

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the spinetail species Zoonavena sylvatica and has listed it as of "Least Concern". CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the white-rumped spinetail (Zoonavena sylvatica).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Zoonavena sylvatica
Species:Z. sylvatica
Binomial name:Zoonavena sylvatica
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
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Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:White-rumped_spinetail_from_Thattekad,_Kerala.jpg
Image author: Kannan AS | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
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