The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

African Palm-Swift

Afrikaans name: Palmwindswael

African Palm-Swift

Above - African Palm-Swift

Photo © Steven Herbert

Cypsiurus parvus

The African Palm-Swift is a small and very slim swift. The wings are long and thin while its long tail is forked.

As with most swifts the Palm-Swift is only likely to be seen in flight. They are normally seen in small, but loose, flocks. At night it roosts underneath a palm leaf.

This bird is a common species in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, North West and Limpopo. It is linked to areas that have palm trees for roosting and breeding.

As Palm-Swifts are always in flight during the day it is not surprising to hear that their food consists of insects that are caught in flight.

When it comes to breeding the Palm-Swift naturally chooses the underside of a palm leaf to place the nest, although they occasionally do use man-made structures. The nest and eggs are stuck on using saliva. Normally two eggs are laid and are incubated by the parents who have to cling to the leaf to cover the eggs.

References and further reading

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 120

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 42

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 158

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 168

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 48

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 252

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 244

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 363

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 367

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 277

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 264

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 206

Roberts Bird Guide - Author: Hugh Chittenden - Published: 2007 - Page: 72

Questions and Answers - Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 8

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 240

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 240

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 172

Geoff Lockwoods Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Published: 0 - Page: 111

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2017 - Page: 83

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 118

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 43

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 139

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Published: 1992 - Page: 53

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 122

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 156

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 88

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 88

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 167

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