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South African Swallow - BirdForum Opus

Photo by nkgray
Photo taken: Brits District, North-West Province, South Africa

Alternative name: South African Cliff Swallow

Petrochelidon spilodera

Hirundo spilodera


They can be distinguished in flight from other metallic-blue swallows by their square (rather than forked) tail.


Breeds mainly in inland South Africa, but also in Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe; migrates to tropical Africa as far north as Democratic Republic of Congo.


Previously included in genus Hirundo.

Petrochelidon spilodera is monotypic.


Grassland and savanna.


Forage aerially over grasslands for arthropods; may feed on the ground at rich food sources (termites or locust hoppers).

Gregarious; breeds in colonies on bridges, buildings and cliffs.

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