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Banded Martin - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Alan Manson
Bergville District, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Neophedina cincta

Riparia cincta


Length 17-18 cm, mass 26 g. A large Martin with a square tail.

Adult: Upper parts brown; a short (diagnostic) white eyebrow extends from the bill to above the eye. The under parts are white except for a broad brown breast band, a narrow brown line accross the vent (sometimes absent), and a brown undertail.
Juvenile: Similar to the adult but scaled buff above; eyebrow less prominent.


Sub-Saharan Africa; an intra-African migrant.


This is a polytypic species[1] consisting of 5 subspecies.


  • N. c. erlangeri:
  • N. c. suahelica:
  • N. c. parvula:
  • Northern Angola to southwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo and north-western Zambia; winters to Cameroon
  • N. c. xerica:
  • N. c. cincta:


Grasslands, shrublands and wetlands.


Usually seen singly or in pairs, but roosts communally.


Forages for insects in slow, floating flight over grassland; attracted to grassland fires and grazing animals.


Nests in a chamber at the end of a burrow (45-60 cm long) excavated in a bank. Two to four eggs are laid August to March. Parasitised by Greater Honeyguide.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.