American needletail/Chaetura
Chimney Swift From The Crossley ID Guide Eastern Birds
Chimney Swift
Chaetura pelagica
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Superorder: Strisores
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Apodidae
Subfamily: Apodinae
Tribe: Chaeturini
Genus: Chaetura
Stephens, 1826

American needletails, Chaetura is a genus of needletail swifts found in the Americas in modern times. They resemble in general appearance and are commonly confused with swallows but they are not at all closely related to these (see also convergent evolution). The genus name is derived from the Greek khaite for long flowing hair and oura for tail, referring to the stiff feathers projecting from the end of the tail.[1]

A fossil species, Chaetura baconica, was described from Late Miocene deposits of Hungary.[2]


  1. ^ Jobling, James A. (1991). A Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 48. ISBN 0-19-854634-3. 
  2. ^ Boev, Zlatozar (2000). "The Presence of Apus baranensis Janossy, 1977, (Aves: Apodidae) in the Late Pliocene of Bulgaria". Acta Zoologica Bulgarica. 52 (2): 43–52. 

Eurasian Spoonbill This article is part of Project Bird Genera, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each genus, including made-up genera.
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