Tag Archives: White-throated Swallow

White-throated Swallow

Hirundo albigularis

White-throated Swallows migrate in large flocks of up to 1000 birds to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia and Botswana between July and September, in time for the breeding season, departing again for Angola, Zambia and the southern DRC around April and May. They are closely associated with rivers and open water, especially in grasslands, fynbos and mountainous areas, and feed primarily on insects caught in flight. Adults grow to a length of 15cm and weigh around 25g.

White-throated Swallows breed in our southern climes between August and March (peak between October and December). Pairs are monogamous and can raise multiple broods in a season, often returning year after year to the same nest. Their nests are small mud-cups lined with grass, fur and feathers, built against vertical surfaces (both natural and man-made) and often placed under overhanging rocks, bridges or roofs. Clutches of between 2 and 5 eggs are incubated for a little over 2 weeks, with the hatchlings fledging by about 3-4 weeks old and becoming independent about two weeks after that.

Being common with an apparently increasing population, the White-throated Swallow is listed as being of  least concern by the IUCN. During their breeding season they can be found in every South African province, being absent only from the driest parts of the arid Northern Cape.