It was only in 2009 that researchers in Colorado discovered where some go during the winter. They put tiny geolocators on 4 Black Swifts and learned that the birds spent the winter 4,000 miles away in the lowland rainforests of NW Brazil, a location the species had not been reported in before. Here it blends in with similar-looking Cypseloides swifts.
In the Caribbean it is known to be a year-round resident in Cuba and Hispaniola, the only places where it is known to be non-migratory. It also occurs on Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, St. Lucia and St. Vincent.
It wasn’t until 1901, when A. G. Vrooman, an egg collector, found the first nest of a Black Swift on a sea cliff near Santa Cruz, California. But his discovery was believed by others to be a storm-petrel nest until 1914 when Vrooman showed William Dawson, an ornithologist, the nest and he deemed Vrooman's sighting credible. Black Swifts are now known to nest in sea caves as well as behind waterfalls.
In Cuba, Rosalina Montes Espín and Lainet García Rivera discovered a nest on 21 June 2009 at La Batata cave, Topes de Collantes Protected Area, in the Sierra de Escambray (elevation 800 m), south-central Cuba. Rosalina says that this nest was occupied until at least 2000 but has not been checked since. In 2009 there were also 11 active nests of White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris in La Batata cave.
Black Swifts lay just a single white egg and parents regurgitate a sticky ball of insects to feed their one and only nestling each season.
The oldest recorded Black Swift was at least 15 years and 1 month old when it was recaptured and released in California, the same state where it had been ringed. In eBird there are 93 sightings for Cuba but only two are documented with photos - one by Jeff Wells on July 18, 2018 in Topes de Collantes, Santis Spiritus and another by Ricel Polan in Granma.
You can watch a webinar on the Black Swift arranged by Birds Canada on this link here.