Little Swift
Little Swift
Scientific Name 
Apus affinis
Arabic Name 
السمامة الصغيرة
Kuwaiti name 
35.0 cm
12.0 cm
Least Concern


Rare disperser in autumn, winter and spring. An infrequent visitor; usually attracted to insect-rich wetlands and farmland. The region’s smallest swift; sometimes in flocks of other swifts or swallows.
Where in Kuwait 
When seen, it is generally during passage in flocks of mixed Hirundines and will be the smallest bird in the flock, with a white rump.
In the world 
It has an extremely large range with an increasing population owing to a range expansion caused primarily by its adaptation to nesting in buildings. It is widespread throughout Asia and Africa. It also has a fragmented distribution in the Mediterranean. It spends most of the time gliding, rarely needing to flap its wings, this bird has a flat underside and weak breast muscles. The genus name Apus derives from the Greek ‘apous’ meaning ‘footless’, and actually refers to the short legs. In contrast to its weak legs, the little swift has strong feet with incredibly sharp claws, used for clinging on to vertical surfaces.
Local threats 
Indiscriminate shooting, for target practice and pesticides that reduce its food supply