Unsorted Wild Birds

Papuan Needletails


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The Papuan Needletails (Mearnsia novaeguineae), also known as the Papuan Spine-tailed Swift, New Guinea Spine-tailed Swift, or Papua Spinetail, is a small (11.5 cm in length), stocky swift with a short, rounded tail and very fast flight. Head and upperparts glossy blue-black, white or whitish belly and undertail coverts, dark underwing with pale central stripe. The small spines at the end of the tail are not visible in flight.



Endemic to New Guinea where it is widespread in the lowlands and hills up to 550 m. It has been recorded from Boigu Island, Queensland, Australian territory in north-western Torres Strait.



Forest edges, gardens, and cleared areas with standing dead trees.



Flying insects.



Papuan Needletails Nests in high tree hollows.



Widespread species assessed as being of Least Concern


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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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