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White-rumped Swift - BirdForum Opus

Photo by nkgray
Boksburg, South Africa.
Apus caffer


Photo by RogerioRodrigues
Barrancos, Portugal, June 2017

14 cm (5½ in)

  • Dark overall plumage
  • Pale throat patch
  • Narrow white rump in the shape of a broad 'U' pointing down the tail
  • Short forked tail
  • Long swept-back wings

Similar species

Various other white-rumped swifts. See the following for a detailed comparison: Identifying small white-rumped swifts.


Africa and southern Europe. In Europe found locally in Spain and Portugal. In Africa locally in Morocco and widespread south of the Sahara. Found in Western, Central, Eastern and Southern Africa, avoiding tropical forest.



Clements regards this as a monotypic species.

Some authors claim birds of Angola and Congo to belong to the subspecies ansorgei or birds of tropical zones to streubelii, but this is not accepted by others.


Aerial, over open country and Eucalyptus plantations.



The diet mainly consists of flying insects.


Monogamous; sometimes breed cooperatively. They often occupy the nests of Little Swifts and swallows (for example in Portugal they often take over nests of Red-rumped Swallow. Once occupied, the nest is lined with feathers and saliva, and 1-2 eggs are laid.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2017)
  3. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links