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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

African Palm-Swift

Afrikaans name: Palmwindswael

African Palm-Swift

Above - African Palm-Swift

Photo © Steven Herbert

Cypsiurus parvus

The African Palm-Swift is a small and very slim swift. The wings are long and thin while its long tail is forked.

As with most swifts the Palm-Swift is only likely to be seen in flight. They are normally seen in small, but loose, flocks. At night it roosts underneath a palm leaf.

This bird is a common species in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, North West and Limpopo. It is linked to areas that have palm trees for roosting and breeding.

As Palm-Swifts are always in flight during the day it is not surprising to hear that their food consists of insects that are caught in flight.

When it comes to breeding the Palm-Swift naturally chooses the underside of a palm leaf to place the nest, although they occasionally do use man-made structures. The nest and eggs are stuck on using saliva. Normally two eggs are laid and are incubated by the parents who have to cling to the leaf to cover the eggs.

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References and further reading

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 88

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 53

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 43

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 118

Geoff Lockwood's Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Year Published: - Page: 111

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 367

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 363

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 252

List of South African Birds

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