Bradfield's Swift | Apus bradfieldi

Robert's Birding Information: Bradfields Swift

The Bradfield's Swift is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Apodidae bird family group which includes birds such as Typical Swifts.

The description for the Bradfield's Swift (Latin name Apus bradfieldi) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Apus bradfieldi can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 413 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 239. You will find a picture of the Bradfield's Swift on page 257.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Bradfield's Swift between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Bradfield's Swift is known in Afrikaans as Muiskleurwindswael.

The Bradfield's Swift is near Endemic to the Southern African Region which means it is mainly found in this region but is not restricted here alone. The Apus bradfieldi can be found in other parts of the world.

The Bradfield's Swift has a height of 18 cms and weighs around 42 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured black. The Apus bradfieldi has a grey coloured throat, black legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is brown.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are black.

Throat is grey.

Back is brown.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult  
Female Adult  
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Bradfields Swift Feeding Habits ...

The Apus bradfieldi attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Bradfields Swift Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Bradfield's Swift is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 eggs and they are coloured white.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The bird is found in the arid and semi-arid regions of Southern Africa and it can withstand high day and night temperatures.

The bird is an urban dweller as well, being at home in parks, gardens and in old vacated buildings.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.