The Marquesan Swiftlet, also known as the Marquesas Swiftlet, is a small passerine bird species that belongs to the swift family Apodidae. They are endemic to the Marquesas Islands, which is a group of volcanic islands located in the Pacific Ocean, east of Tahiti.
These birds belong to the monotypic genus 'Aerodramus' and are known for their distinctive appearance. They are small, slim, and have a dark brownish-black plumage that appears glossy in the sunlight. The Marquesan Swiftlet has a forked tail, which is slightly rounded, and they have tiny legs and feet that are hardly visible. Adults typically grow to be around 11-14 cm in length.
Marquesan Swiftlets are commonly found within high elevation forests on the Marquesas Islands. They use their exceptional flying abilities to maneuver through forest canopies with ease and are often seen in large groups or feeding on insects and small invertebrates in mid-air.
The Marquesan Swiftlet's breeding behavior is interesting, as they have been known to breed in smaller social units instead of large colonies. Both parents take turns incubating their eggs and feeding their young. They usually breed in nests that are made out of a collection of feathers and other small materials, which are held together using the bird's saliva.
Unfortunately, the Marquesan Swiftlet is considered a vulnerable species due to a dwindling population size and loss of habitat. These birds are also prey to introduced predators such as rats, cats, and various other invasive species. Conservation efforts have been put in place to prevent further decline in their population, such as habitat restoration and managing invasive species in forests. It is crucial to protect the Marquesan Swiftlet so that future generations of people can enjoy these unique and fascinating birds.