[order] Apodiformes | [family] Apodidae | [latin] Apus pallidus | [UK] Pallid Swift | [FR] Martinet pâle | [DE] Fahlsegler | [ES] Vencejo pálido | [IT] Rondone pallido | [NL] Vale Gierzwaluw

Vale Gierzwaluw determination

No film available

Medium-sized brown swift, with pale grey-white forehead, conspicuous white throat, slightly darker saddle on back, paler (greyer or sandier) upper-surface to flight-feathers, and at close range pale margins visible on body, sides of rump, and upper wing-coverts on both adult and juvenile (and giving plumage characteristic rough appearance).

Southern middle and lower latitudes, largely linked with coastlines and coastal or riparian lowlands of Mediterranean or subtropical climates

Apus pallidus is a widespread but patchily distributed summer visitor to much of southern Europe, which accounts for less than half of its global breeding range. Its European breeding population is relatively small (<160,000 pairs), but increased between 1970-1990. Although the trend of the key Spanish population during 1990- 2000 was unknown, the species was stable in most of the rest of its European range.

Difficult to distinguish from that of Swift except in being restricted to southern fringe of latter‘s breeding range, in lower middle and lower latitudes, and in being largely linked with coastlines and coastal or riparian lowlands of Mediterranean or subtropical climates. Overlapping extends not only to common range for aerial foraging but locally to mixed nesting colonies. However, transfer from cliff-nesting to use of buildings has apparently developed less far than in Swift, although not less than in Alpine Swift.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 1,000,000-10,000,000 km². It has a large global population, including an estimated 77,000-320,000 individuals in Europe (BirdLife International in prep.). Global population trends have not been quantified, but there is evidence of a population increase, and so the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

First eggs laid from end of march to en of may, depending on lattitude. Second broodd mostly in july. The nest building sites vary from buildings, especially under eaves, to a cave or cliff crevice. The nest is a shallow cup of straw, grass, and feathers, cemented together with saliva. Clutch size is 2-3 with a range of 1 to 4. Incubation, done by both parents, lasts from 20 to 22 days and they fledge after 44 to 48 days. Both parents care for the young during dependence.

Migratory in all but the more southerly breeding areas. As a result of double brooding it is present for much longer in the Western Palearctic than Common Swift. In the north of the range it arrives in France in early April, leaving by mid-November. Present further south on the Canaries from January to September, and Gibraltar and Marocco from late February to October. In the winter present in Gambia from October to December with lesser numbers through to April. In more central North African areas such as around Lake Chad and in Mali present to some extent for most of the year, with less occuring in July but some present, in Mali at least, throughout the year. Locally resident in the Middle East. Spring migration through Eilat peaks in late February to mid-April, with autumn migration from late may to late September, mainly June-July. Very common passage migrant, Djibouti. In NW Africa migration from late February (or mid-March) to early May, and from August to November. Migration dates are confused by the return of some birds to Moroccan breeding sites as early as mid-December and the not infrequent incidence of wintering as far north as South France and in India.