Common Name

Scientific Name



The white-throated swift, Aeronautes saxatalis, breeds in southwestern Canada, the western United States, Mexico, and Central America, and winters in the southwestern United States, Mexico, and Central America. The species is a common breeder in Utah, though it leaves the state during winter. Preferred habitats of the white-throated swift include rocky cliffs and canyons in mountainous areas.

The white-throated swift breeds in the spring. Interestingly, copulation occurs in the air. Nests are built among rock crevices on cliffs and canyon walls; the average clutch contains four or five eggs.

Flying insects that are captured in flight are the major component of the diet. The white-throated swift can be distinguished from other swifts by the prominent white patch on its underside.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Peterson, R. T., and V. M. Peterson. 1990. A field guide to western birds, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston. 432 pp.