Pallid Swift | Apus pallidus

Robert's Birding Information: Pallid Swift

The Pallid 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 Pallid Swift (Latin name Apus pallidus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Apus pallidus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 414 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 238. You will find a picture of the Pallid 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 Pallid Swift between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Pallid Swift has a height of 17 cms and weighs around 42 gms. The head is coloured brown, grey while the bill is coloured grey. The Apus pallidus has a olive, brown coloured throat, grey legs and a brown, grey 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, grey.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is grey.

Legs are grey.

Throat is olive, brown.

Back is brown, grey.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult  
Female Adult  
Juvenile  
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Pallid Swift Feeding Habits ...

The Apus pallidus 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.

Pallid Swift Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Pallid Swift is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

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 mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

The bird is found in the African bushveld.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

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