Alpine Swift Apus melba   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Apodiformes Family: Apodidae
BTO Codes: AI, ALPSW EURING No: 7980
Number in Britain: 10 records/year
Conservation Status:
UK: Not Assessed
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Scarce Visitor
Subspecies: melba recorded in Britain (of 9 subsp. in the world)
Length: 21 cm Wingspan: 57 cm Weight: M/F: 100 g    
Scientific name from: L.: apus=the swift (from Gr.: a-=without + pous=foot) and melba=origin unclear
World Distribution: BREEDS: s Europe, s Asia, Africa, WINTERS: tropical Africa & s India
Habitat: Open country, esp. nr mountains
Diet: Flying insects and spiders caught in flight
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Records and Distribution

First Record: Kent 1830, (Co, Cork, 1829) (Palmer. P 2000. First for Britain & Ireland, Arlequin Press. [502.74 PAL])
Total Number of Records (1950-2007): 482 Summary of Records by Year
Most Likely to Occur in:
Most Recent County Records:
   North-east England:
   North-west England:
   English Midlands:
   Eastern England:
   South-east England:
   South-west England:

Information provided by BirdGuides and BBRC

Other Names

Previously Apus melba
Gaelic: Gobhlan-monaidh Welsh: Gwennol Ddu'r Alpau
Danish: Alpesejler Dutch: Alpengierzwaluw
Finnish: Alppikirskuja French: Martinet alpin
German: Alpensegler Hungarian: Havasi sarlósfecske
Icelandic: Alpasvölungur Irish: Gabhlán Alpach
Italian: Rondone maggiore Norwegian: Alpeseiler
Polish: Jerzyk alpejski Portuguese: Andorinhão-real
Spanish: Vencejo real Swedish: Alpseglare

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