Chaetura is a genus of needletail swifts found in the Americas. Although they resemble swallows, the two are not at all closely related; this is instead a result of convergent evolution. Some members of Chaetura are long-distance migrants, while others are year-round residents.

Chimney swift
Chaetura pelagica
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Apodidae
Subfamily: Apodinae
Genus: Chaetura
Stephens, 1826

11 living, see text

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.