White-rumped Swift

White-rumped Swifts visit South Africa from equatorial Africa during our warmer months (August to May, though a few stay through the winter). They’re usually seen on the wing, catching flying insects over open country, often close to water and commonly in towns and cities. Usually seen in small flocks of around a dozen, they migrate in larger groups of up to a hundred.

Monogamous pairs of White-rumped Swifts often breed in colonies throughout spring and summer, usually in nests hijacked from other kinds of swifts and swallows. Clutches consist of 1-3 eggs and are incubated for about 3 weeks. Compared to many similarly-sized birds the chicks develop slowly and only fledge shortly before reaching two months old. Adult White-rumped Swifts measure 16cm long and weigh around 24g.

The IUCN lists the White-rumped Swift as being of least concern.

17 thoughts on “White-rumped Swift

  1. naturebackin

    I didn’t know about their habit of taking ready-made nests from others. Photographing birds in flight isn’t easy, even when they aren’t as swift or fly so high. How nice to be able to capture these shots from a comfortable veranda!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      I found that they’re the perfect subjects to try and capture “on film” from a comfortable seat on the veranda of a picturesque little cottage in the mountains… One in a hundred pictures might just turn out good enough for posting here! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anne

    I salute you for capturing these swiftly flying birds on camera! A pair of them hijacked the Lesser-striped Swallow’s nest outside our front door two years ago and this year ejected the swallow’s eggs (they had got in first).

    Liked by 1 person


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