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CUBAN APODIFORMES - Swifts, Hummingbirds

cuban emeraldThe birds in this order are very small and have short legs and tiny feet, in fact the word apodiformes means "footless" in Latin.

Unlike other birds that have scales or scutes on their feet, the feet of the birds in this order are bare skin with no scales. They have long primary feathers and short secondary feathers. Their young are blind, naked, and helpless at birth.

Swifts have forked tails and their wings have a boomerang shape when they are outstretched.

Swifts spend most of their time in the air and cannot perch because their feet are so tiny! They use their tail feathers to help them land and move around on land. Swifts have short bills and are usually dull in color. Swifts often nest in caves or on cliffs. 

Hummingbirds are the smallest of all bird species. They are found in North America, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. Hummingbords have long, thin bills and a long tongue that they use to eat nectar. Hummingbirds have very tiny feet and never walk on the ground.

There are only two species of hummingbird found in Cuba, the bee hummingbird and the Cuban emerald. The bee hummingbird is the smallest species of bird in the world and is only found in Cuba. It is the size of a large bee. Like other hummingbirds, the bee hummingbird can fly forwards and backwards, straight up in the air and even upside down. It can also hover in the air by moving its wings in a figure-eight pattern.

The Cuban emerald is found in the Bahamas, Cuba, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Cuban emerald is a common bird in Cuba where it is known as the zun-zun. Males are green and feamles are green with a gray breast and belly.

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CUBAN APODIFORMES - Swifts, Hummingbirds

World Status Key
Least ConcernLeast Concern Near ThreatenedNear Threatened VulnerableVulnerable EndangeredEndangered Critically EndangeredCritically Endangered extinct in the wildExtinct in the Wild extinctExtinct
Status and range is taken from ICUN Redlist. If no status is listed, there is not enough data to establish status.

US Status Key
Threatened in US Threatened in US Threatened in New Hampshire Threatened in NH Endangered in US Endangered in US Endangered in NH Endangered in NH Introduced Introduced breeds in nh Breeds in NH (Birds)
Status taken from US Fish and Wildlife and NH Fish and Game

Location
Africa Africa Asia Asia Australia Australia/Oceania Europe Europe North America North America South America South America New Hampshire Species NH More Info Click for More Info picture Click for Image

Species

Sounds

Occurrence

American Black Swift - Cypseloides niger Least Concern North America South America image More Info Non-breeding
  Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Andrew Spencer  
White-collared Swift - Streptoprocne zonaris Least Concern North America South America image More Info Year-round
  Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Andrew Spencer  
Antillean Palm-swift - Tachornis phoenicobia Least Concern North America image More Info
Year-round
  Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Jesse Fagan  
Bee Hummingbird - Mellisuga helenae Near Threatened North America image More Info Endemic
  Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org William Adsett  
Cuban Emerald - Chlorostilbon ricordii Least Concern North America image More Info Year-round
  Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Jon King  

Additional Information

Key: profile Profile Photos Photos Video Video Audio Audio

American Black Swift - Cypseloides niger profile Photos Audio Least Concern North America South America
American black swifts capture insects while in flight.
Source: Seattle Audubon Society Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School

American Black Swift - Cypseloides niger profile Photos Least Concern North America South America
The American black swift is the largest swift in the U.S. and Canada.
Source: National Audubon Society Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School

White-collared Swift - Streptoprocne zonaris profile Photos Audio Least Concern North America South America
The white-collared swift is found in Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.
Source: Cornell Lab of Ornithology Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School

Antillean Palm-swift - Tachornis phoenicobia profile Least Concern North America
The Antillean palm-swift is found in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica.
Source: Internet Bird Collection Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School

Bee Hummingbird - Mellisuga helenae profile Near Threatened North America
The bee hummingbird is only found in Cuba.
Source: Animal Diversity Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School

Bee Hummingbird - Mellisuga helenae profile Photos Video Near Threatened North America
The bee hummingbird is the smallest living bird species.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School

Cuban Emerald - Chlorostilbon ricordii profile Photos Video Audio Least Concern North America
The Cuban emerald is found in the Bahamas, Cuba, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Source: Internet Bird Collection Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School