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Mottled Swift | Tachymarptis aequatorialis

The Mottled 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 Mottled Swift (Latin name Tachymarptis aequatorialis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Tachymarptis aequatorialis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 419 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 236. You will find a picture of the Mottled 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. The Latin name for this bird is Apus aequatorialis in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Mottled Swift has a height of 20 cms and weighs around 93 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured black. The Tachymarptis aequatorialis has a grey coloured throat, grey 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 grey

Throat is grey

Back is brown

Feeding Habits ...

The Tachymarptis aequatorialis 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 Mottled 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 3 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 Mottled Swift is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is found in the African bushveld

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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