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Black Saw-wing | Psalidoprocne holomelaena

The Black Saw-wing is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Hirundinidae bird family group which includes birds such as Hirundinidae.

The description for the Black Saw-wing (Latin name Psalidoprocne holomelaena) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Psalidoprocne holomelaena can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 536 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 764. You will find a picture of the Black Saw-wing on page 801.

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 Black Saw-wing Swallow in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Black Saw-wing between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Black Saw-wing is known in Afrikaans as Swartsaagvlerkswael.

The Black Saw-wing has a height of 17 cms and weighs around 11 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured black. The Psalidoprocne holomelaena has a black coloured throat, black legs and a black coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Psalidoprocne holomelaena has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

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 black

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are black

Throat is black

Back is black

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Black Saw-wing is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

The Psalidoprocne holomelaena 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 is a noctunal feeder and is able to forage in the dark because of the enhanced night vision. It also forages at this time because that?s when the prey comes out in the open.

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 Black Saw-wing 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 3 eggs and they are coloured white.

The bird builts its nest in a hole in the ground.

The Black Saw-wing is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

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

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Black Saw-wing is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

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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