Papuan Needletails

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The Papuan Needletail (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.


Distribution

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.


Habitat

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


Diet

Flying insects.


Breeding

Nests in a high tree hollows.


Conservation

Common and widespread species assessed as being of Least Concern



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