The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Little Swift

Afrikaans name: Kleinwindswael

Little Swift

Little Swift

Photo © Steven Herbert

Apus affinis

The Little Swift is very common in South Africa and may be seen virtually anywhere. During summer large flocks can be seen near suitable breeding sites.

Little Swifts, like most swifts, are on the wing virtually all year round. Only when they are breeding will they take a break. They mainly feed on insects which are caught in flight.

The Little Swift has a square tail and a large patch of white on their rumps.

They nest in colonies on cliffs and on man-made structures such as bridges, culverts or under roofs. The nest is made of grass and feathers which are stuck together with saliva. Up to 3 eggs are laid and both parents care for them.

Nest under a roof

They often build their nests under man-made structures such as roofs and bridges

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

Wildlife of the Cape Peninsula - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2001 - Page: 56

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 120

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 157

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 51

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Published: 1979 - Page: 27

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

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 117

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 14

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 244

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 364

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 360

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 276

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 263

Newmans Garden Birds - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1991 - Page: 48

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 240

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 240

Geoff Lockwoods Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Published: 0 - Page: 113

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 172

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 116

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 18

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 73

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

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 138

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Published: 0 - Page: 129

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Published: 1992 - Page: 52

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 155

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 122

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 87

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 87

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 166


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