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African Palm-Swift | Cypsiurus parvus

The African Palm-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 African Palm-Swift (Latin name Cypsiurus parvus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Cypsiurus parvus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 421 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 233. You will find a picture of the African Palm-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.

This bird is known as Palm Swift in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the African Palm-Swift between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The African Palm-Swift is known in Afrikaans as Palmwindswael.

The African Palm-Swift has a height of 15 cms and weighs around 14 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured black. The Cypsiurus parvus has a grey coloured throat, purple 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 purple

Throat is grey

Back is brown

Feeding Habits ...

The Cypsiurus parvus 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 .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The African Palm-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 1 to 2 eggs and they are coloured white.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

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

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

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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