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Black Saw-wing - BirdForum Opus

Subspecies antinorii, (Brown Saw-wing), showing the typical white median under primary coverts
Photo by volker sthamer
Yergalem, Ethiopia, 2015
Psalidoprocne pristoptera

Includes Petit's, Shari, Blue, Brown, Ethiopian, Mangbettu and Eastern Sawwing


Length 17 cm, mass 11-13 g.
Adult: Plumage black with greenish gloss (head, body and lesser and median upper coverts) to blackish brown (flight feathers and greater wing coverts). The bill is black, the eyes dark brown, and the legs and feet are purplish.


Photo by Alan Manson
Cedara Farm, KwaZulu-Natal

Africa: Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Ethiopia in the north to eastern and southern South Africa in the south.



12 subspecies[1] accepted which are sometimes split in no fewer than 7 species:


Forest fringes, often near wetlands; also fringes of closed woodland.



Forages for aerial arthropods while flying fairly slowly in clearings and between trees.


Monogamous. Nests in a burrow excavated in a soil bank that may be as low as 45 cm. One to three eggs are laid September to March.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533

  1. Lepage D. 2007. Avibase. Search for "Black Sawwing" downloaded March 2008.

Recommended Citation

External Links

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