Mascarene Swiftlet (Aerodramus francicus)

The Mascarene Swiftlet, scientifically known as Aerodramus francicus, is a small bird and a member of the swift family, Apodidae. It is a species that is endemic to the Mascarene Islands of Mauritius, Reunion Island, and Rodrigues Island in the Indian Ocean. The Mascarene Swiftlet is a migratory bird that has been known to summer in the Western Indian Ocean and winter in Indonesia.

This swiftlet bird is about 9 cm long, with a short, square tail, and has a wingspan of approximately 22 cm. Its upper feathers are blackish-brown, while the underparts are pale grey to white. The Mascarene Swiftlet also has a unique white rump patch. The bird has a distinctive chirping sound, which is produced by the rapid wing beats as it flies, almost constantly, around its habitat.

Mascarene Swiftlets inhabit caves, crevices, and other sheltered places in rocky areas, cliffs, and ravines, mainly in remote areas and in forests. They feed mainly on flying insects such as mosquitos and flies. The swiftlet is diurnal and forms large colonies inside caves where it nests and breeds.

The reproduction of the Mascarene Swiftlet is complex, with the birds forming lifelong pairs. They breed annually and lay one or two eggs each year. The eggs are pure white and are incubated for fourteen to fifteen days. Hatchlings are fed in the nest by their parents for around thirty-five days before leaving the nest.

The Mascarene Swiftlet faces several threats, mainly habitat loss and degradation due to urbanization and farming activities, deforestation, and hunting. The banning of hunting and effective conservation actions have aided in their survival. Additionally, the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation has set up programs to monitor and protect their breeding colonies. These programs have greatly helped in the conservation of the species.

To conclude, the Mascarene Swiftlet bird is a unique and fascinating species that, like many others, faces threats caused by human activities and development. However, with effective conservation programs put in place, this small bird can continue to thrive and enchant those who observe it in the wild.

Other names

Aerodramus francicus



Mascarene Swiftlet

salangana de les illes Mascarenyes



maskarenska čiopica

salangana mauricijská




Salangane des Mascareignes


Salangana delle Mascarene


mauricinis erodramas


salangana maskareńska


Маврикийская салангана

Maskarenska čiopica

salangána maskarénska

Salangana de las Mascareñas


Maskaren Adaları Yelyutanı

салангана маврикійська

maskareeni salangaan

mauritiusi szalangána