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Apodidae
雨燕科
yǔ-yàn kē

雨燕科
yǔ-yàn kē

アマツバメ科
ama-tsubame ka

칼새과
kal-sae-gwa

Họ Yến

Ураацхайнхан
uraatskhaiŋkhaŋ

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General

Information is from dictionaries and other sources. Pinyin reflects Mandarin pronunciation; for some dialect names, it is no more than a polite fiction. Korean glosses are tentative. Comments and corrections welcome. Hover over Green Lettering Green lettering at this site hides a tool tip with glosses, further explanations, etc. Hover cursor to reveal. to see additional information.

The swifts are known in Chinese as 雨燕 yǔ-yàn or 'rain swallows'. This name is shared with both Japanese (アマツバメ 雨燕 ama-tsubame 'rain swallow') and Mongolian (Хурын ураацай khuriŋ uraatsai 'rain swift'), suggesting mutual influence.

Without a descriptor, the name 雨燕 yǔ-yàn refers to the Common Swift (Apus apus), although for a long time even ornithological Chinese used 搂燕 lóu-yàn 'tower swallow' for the Common Swift, suggesting it was a type of swallow. The older name refers to the Common Swift's propensity to nest in towers and large structures.

The swiftlets (or salanganes), many of which are valued for their edible nests, are known as 金丝燕 jīn-sī yàn or 'gold-silk swallows'. As a delicacy, the nests are known as 燕窝 yàn-wō 'swallow's nests'.

Chinese authorities are divided over whether to call the tree swift a 'tree-swallow' (树燕 shù-yàn) or a 'rain-swallow' (雨燕 yǔ-yàn i.e. a swift). To indicate the concept of a 'crest', Chinese uses the term 凤头 fèng-tóu meaning 'phoenix-head'.

Species names

› ABOUT THIS TABLE‹
HEMIPROCNINAE
SCIENTIFIC & ENGLISH
CHINESE
EAST
SOUTH
NORTH
Hemiprocne
Hemiprocne coronata Crested treeswift
Crested tree swift
Crested swift
凤头雨燕
(鳳頭雨燕)
fèng-tóu yǔ-yàn
'phoenix-headed rain-swallow' (2, 4)
Hemiprocne longipennis (1), Hemiprocne coronata (3):
凤头树燕
(鳳頭樹燕)
fèng-tóu shù-yàn
'phoenix head tree-swallow'
    インドカンムリアマツバメ
(インド冠雨燕)
indo kanmuri ama-tsubame
'Indian crested rain-swallow' (Wikipedia etc.)
  Hemiprocne longipennis (12):
Chim Yến mào
'crested swift (bird)' (12, 34)
 
 
APODINAE
SCIENTIFIC & ENGLISH
CHINESE
EAST
SOUTH
NORTH
Hirundapus
Latin
English
Chinese
Chinese (Taiwan)
Other Ch
Japanese
Korean
Vietnamese
Mongolian
Hirundapus caudacutus
Hirundapus caudacuta
Chaetura caudacuta
link to photolink to photo
White-throated needletail
White-throated spine-tailed swift
Spinetail swift
白喉针尾雨燕
(白喉針尾雨燕)
bái-hóu zhēn-wěi yǔ-yàn
'white-throated needle-tailed rain-swallow'
(白喉针尾雨燕)
白喉針尾雨燕
bái-hóu zhēn-wěi yǔ-yàn
'white-throated needle-tailed rain-swallow'
Taiwan formerly:
(针尾雨燕)
針尾雨燕
zhēn-wěi yǔ-yàn
'needle-tailed rain-swallow'
山燕子
(山燕子)
shān yànzi
'mountain swallow' (FS)
针尾沙燕
(針尾沙燕)
zhēn-wěi shā-yàn
'needle-tailed sand-swallow' (FS)
ハリオアマツバメ
(針尾雨燕)
hari-o ama-tsubame
'needle-tailed rain-swallow'
바늘꼬리칼새
baneul-kkori-kal-sae
'needle-tailed swift bird'
Chim Yến đuôi cứng hông trắng
'stiff-tailed white-rumped swift (bird)' (12)
Ойн моринураацай
ᠣᠢ ᠵᠢᠨ ᠮᠣᠷᠢᠨ ᠣᠷᠠᠴᠠᠢ
oiŋ moriŋ-uraatsai
'forest horse-swift'
Inner M:
Согсор ураацай
ᠰᠣᠬᠰᠣᠷ ᠣᠷᠠᠴᠠᠢ
sogsor uraatsai
'dishevelled swift' (32)
Hirundapus cochinchinensis
link to photo
Silver-backed needletail
Grey-throated spinetail swift
White-vented spine-tailed swift
Needletailed swift
White-vented needletail
白背针尾雨燕
(白背針尾雨燕)
bái-bèi zhēn-wěi yǔ-yàn
'white-backed needle-tailed rain-swallow' (2, 4)
灰喉针尾雨燕
(灰喉針尾雨燕)
huī-hóu zhēn-wěi yǔ-yàn
'grey-throated needle-tailed rain-swallow' (1, 3, 5)
(灰喉针尾雨燕)
灰喉针尾雨燕
huī-hóu zhēn-wěi yǔ-yàn
'grey-throated needle-tailed rain-swallow'
  コシジロハリオアマツバメ
(腰白針尾雨燕)
koshi-jiro hari-o ama-tsubame
'white-rumped needle-tailed rain-swallow'
  Chim Yến đuôi cứng bụng trắng
'stiff-tailed white-bellied swift (bird)' (12)
 
Aerodramus
Latin
English
Chinese
Chinese (Taiwan)
Other Ch
Japanese
Korean
Vietnamese
Mongolian
Aerodramus brevirostris
Collocalia brevirostris
link to photo
Himalayan swiftlet
Indian edible-nest swiftlet
Aerodramus rogersi:
Indochinese swiftlet
短嘴金丝燕
(短嘴金絲燕)
duǎn-zuǐ jīn-sī-yàn
'short-billed gold-silk swallow'
    ヒマラヤアナツバメ
(ヒマラヤ穴燕)
himaraya ana-tsubame
'Himalayan hole-swallow'
황해쇠칼새
hwanghae-soe-kal-sae
'Yellow Sea small swift bird'
Chim Yến núi
'mountain swift (bird)' (12, 13, 34)
Aerodramus rogersi:
Chim Yến Đông Dương
'Indochinese swift (bird)' (34)
 
Aerodramus maximus
Collocalia maxima
link to photo
Black-nest swiftlet
Lowe's swiftlet
大金丝燕
(大金絲燕)
dà jīn-sī-yàn
'large gold-silk swallow' (4, 5)
方尾金丝燕
(方尾金絲燕)
fāng-wěi jīn-sī-yàn
'square-tailed gold-silk swallow' (10)
    オオアナツバメ
(大穴燕)
ō ana-tsubame
'large hole-swallow'
  Chim Yến sào đen
'black-nest swift (bird)' (34)
 
Aerodramus fuciphagus
Collocalia fuciphaga
(Aerodramus germani= Aerodramus fuciphagus germani)
link to photo
Edible-nest swiftlet
Thunberg's swiftlet
Aerodramus germani:
German's Swiftlet
爪哇金丝燕
(爪哇金絲燕)
zhǎowā jīn-sī-yàn
'Javanese gold-silk swallow'
    ジャワアナツバメ
(ジャワ穴燕)
jawa ana-tsubame
'Javanese hole-swallow'
  Aerodramus germani (34):
Chim Yến hông xám
'grey-rumped swift (bird)' (12, 13, 34)
 
Cypsiurus
Latin
English
Chinese
Chinese (Taiwan)
Other Ch
Japanese
Korean
Vietnamese
Mongolian
Cypsiurus batasiensis
link to photo
Asian palm swift
Palm swift
棕雨燕
(棕雨燕)
zōng yǔ-yàn
'palm rain-swallow'
›Note‹
(棕雨燕)
棕雨燕
zōng yǔ-yàn
'palm rain-swallow'
  アジアヤシハリオアマツバメ
(アジア椰子針尾雨燕)
ajia yashi hari-o ama-tsubame
'Asian palm needle-tailed rain-swallow'
ヤシアマツバメ
(椰子雨燕)
yashi ama-tsubame
'palm rain-swallow'
  Chim Yến cọ
'palm swift (bird)' (12, 34)
 
Apus
Latin
English
Chinese
Chinese (Taiwan)
Other Ch
Japanese
Korean
Vietnamese
Mongolian
Apus pacificus
link to photolink to photo
Fork-tailed swift
or
Pacific swift
Large white-rumped swift
Larger white-rumped swift
Northern white-rumped swift
白腰雨燕
(白腰雨燕)
bái-yāo yǔ-yàn
'white-rumped rain-swallow'
(叉尾雨燕)
叉尾雨燕
chā-wěi yǔ-yàn
'fork-tailed rain-swallow'
Taiwan formerly:
(白腰雨燕)
白腰雨燕
bái-yāo yǔ-yàn
'white-rumped rain-swallow'
雨燕
(雨燕)
yǔ-yàn
'rain-swallow' (dict) (FS)
野燕
(野燕)
yě-yàn
'wild swallow' (FS)
白尾根麻燕
(白尾根麻燕)
bái-wěi-gēn má-yàn
'white-wing-rooted flax swallow' (FS)
白尾根雨燕
(白尾根雨燕)
bái-wěi-gēn yǔ-yàn
'white-wing-rooted rain-swallow' (FS)
アマツバメ
(雨燕)
ama-tsubame
'rain-swallow'
칼새
kal-sae
'swift bird'
Chim Yến hông trắng
'white-rumped swift (bird)' (12, 13, 34)
Хондлойцагаан ураацай
ᠬᠣᠨᠳᠣᠯᠠᠢ ᠴᠠᠭᠠᠨ ᠣᠷᠠᠴᠠᠢ
khondloi-tsagaaŋ uraatsai
'white-rump swift'
Inner M:
Морин ураацай
ᠮᠣᠷᠢᠨ ᠣᠷᠠᠴᠠᠢ
moriŋ uraatsai
'horse swift' (31, 32)
Apus nipalensis House swift Apus affinis (1, 3, 5), Apus nipalensis (2, 4):
小白腰雨燕
(小白腰雨燕)
xiǎo bái-yāo yǔ-yàn
'small white-rumped rain-swallow'
(小雨燕)
小雨燕
xiǎo yǔ-yàn
'small rain-swallow'
›Taxonomy‹
  ヒメアマツバメ
(姫雨燕)
hime ama-tsubame
'princess rain-swallow'
쇠칼새
soe-kal-sae
'small swift bird'
Apus affinis:
Chim Yến cằm trắng
'white-chinned swift (bird)' (12, 13)
 
Apus apus
link to photolink to photo
Common swift
Swift
Eurasian swift
雨燕
(雨燕)
yǔ-yàn
'rain swallow' (2, 4)
普通楼燕
(普通楼燕)
pǔtōng lóu-yàn
'common tower swallow' (1, 3)
楼燕
(楼燕)
lóu-yàn
'tower swallow' (5)
  欧洲雨燕
(欧洲雨燕)
ōuzhōu yǔ-yàn
'European rain-swallow'
北京雨燕
(北京雨燕)
běijīng yǔ-yàn
'Beijing rain-swallow' (FS, 31)
褐雨燕
(褐雨燕)
hè yǔ-yàn
'brown rain-swallow' (dict) (FS)
野燕
(野燕)
yě-yàn
'wild swallow' (FS)
麻燕
(麻燕)
má-yàn
'flax swallow' (northern) (FS)
ヨーロッパアマツバメ
(ヨーロッパ雨燕)
yōroppa ama-tsubame
'European rain-swallow'
    Хурын ураацай
ᠬᠣᠷ᠎ᠠ ᠣᠷᠠᠴᠠᠢ
khurin uraatsai
'rain swift'
Inner M:
Ураацай
ᠣᠷᠠᠴᠠᠢ
uraatsai
'swift' (32)

Согсор sogsor, which is used in Inner Mongolian names for several sharptailed or needletailed species, usually refers to dishevelled hair that is sticking up. It is possible that there has been confusion with the terms шовхгор shovkgor and шовгор shovgor, which refer to pointy objects.

中国鸟类种和亚种分类名录大全(修订版) 郑作新 著 科学出版社 北京 2000年
A Complete Checklist of Species and Subspecies of the Chinese Birds (Revised Edition) by Cheng Tso-Hsin, Science Press, Beijing 2000

中国鸟类分类与分布名录 主编:郑光美 科学出版社 北京 2005年
A Checklist on the Classification and Distribution of the Birds of China Chief editor: Zheng Guangmei, Science Press, Beijing 2005

中国鸟类野外手册(中文版)约翰・马敬能、卡伦・菲利普斯,合作者:荷芬奇,翻译:卢和芬 湖南教育出版社 长沙 2000年
A Field Guide to the Birds of China (Chinese translation) by John MacKinnon, Karen Phillipps, in collaboration with He Fen-qi, translated by Lu Hefen, Hunan Jiaoyu Chubanshe (Hunan Educational Press) Changsha 2000

世界鸟类分类与分布名录 主编:郑光美 科学出版社 北京 2002年
A Checklist on the Classification and Distribution of the Birds of the World Chief editor: Zheng Guangmei, Science Press, Beijing 2002

世界鸟类名称(拉丁文、汉文、英文对照)第二版 郑作新等 科学出版社 北京 2002年
Birds of the World (Latin, Chinese and English Names) 2nd ed. by Cheng Tso-Hsin et al, Science Press, Beijing 2002

Pocket Checklist of the Birds of the Republic of Singapore / Senai Jenis-Jenis Burung di Singapura / 新加坡野鸟目录 by Lim Kim Seng Nature Society (Singapore) 1999

Danh Lục Chim Việt Nam (In lần thứ hai) (Checklist of the Birds of Vietnam) Võ Quý, Nguyễn Cử, Nhà Xuất Bản Nông Nghiệp, Hà Nội 1999

Chim Việt Nam Nguyễn Cử, Lê Trọng Trải, Karen Phillipps; Nhà Xuất Bản Lao Động - Xã Hội, 2000

汉蒙名词术语分类词典(自然科学部分) Mongolian (Cyrillic): Хятад Монгол нэр томъёоны зүйл хуваасан толь (байгалийн шинжлэх ухааны бүлэг) (Chinese-Mongolian classified terminological dictionary, natural sciences part) by 《汉蒙名词术语分类词典》编纂委员会 Mongolian (Cyrillic): "Хятад Монгол нэр томъёоны зүйл хуваасан толь" найруулах комисс (Chinese-Mongolian classified terminological dictionary editorial committee), Inner Mongolian People's Press, Hohhot 1990

内蒙古动物志 (第三卷 鸟纲 非雀形目) Fauna Inner Mongolia (Volume 3 Aves Non-Passerines) 主编:旭日干 (Chief Editor: Xurigan), 内蒙古人大学版社 (Inner Mongolian University Press), Hohhot 2013

Danh Lục Các Loài Chim ở Việt Nam (Latinh, Việt, Pháp, Hán) Trần Văn Chánh 2008-2009

Danh Lục Các Loài Chim ở Việt Nam (Latinh, Việt, Pháp, Hán) Trần Văn Chánh 2008-2009