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Banded Martin

Afrikaans name: Gebande Oewerswael

Banded Martin in dry grassland

Banded Martin

Photo © Steven Herbert

Riparia cincta

The Banded Martin has a rather scattered distribution across South Africa but it is most common on the Highveld in grassland habitat. Martins and Swallows are closely related birds and share many of the same characteristics.

These birds tend to fly fairly close to the ground which is where they hunt for flying insects which form the main part of their diet. They can sometimes be seen flying near large mammals such as zebras that tend to flush out insects as they move along.

Banded Martins are not resident in South Africa all year round. During winter they migrate further up Africa and return in spring to breed. They make a tunnel in bank for their nest. Between 2 and 4 eggs are laid and are tended to by both parents.



List of South African Birds

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