Tachornis uranoceles Olson

Puerto Rico Palm Swift (Tachornis uranoceles)

The Puerto Rico Palm Swift was described in 1982, it is known only from fossil remains that were recovered from Blackbone Cave on the island of Puerto Rico and that were dated to a Late Pleistocene age.

The species very likely had similar habits as the three still existing congeneric species, it inhabited palm grooves in open savannas, a habitat that mostly disappeared at the end of the Pleistocene, leading to the extinction of this and several other species. [1]

The Puerto Rico Palm Swift may, however, have survived into the early Holocene.


Today, another congeneric species is occurring in the Caribbean including Puert Rico, the Antillean Palm Swift (Tachornis phoenicobia Gosse) (see photo below).



[1] Storrs L. Olson: A new species of palm swift (Tachornis: Apodidae) from the Pleistocene of Puerto Rico. The Auk 99(2): 230-235. 1982


Antillean Palm Swift (Tachornis phoenicobia Gosse)

Photo: ZankaM


edited: 05.11.2020