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Alternative Name: African Black Swift
Includes: Fernando Po Swift
Length 19 cm, mass 42 g.
 Similar Species
Bradfield's Swift is paler and greyer and the upper parts are more uniformly coloured. The Common Swift is more slender, its wings are more uniformly dark and its tail is longer and more deeply forked.
Widespread throughout sub-Saharan Africa:
Some populations are resident, others are intra-African migrants.
Madagascar Swift is sometimes included in this species.
Breeds on cliffs and feeds aerially over a wide variety of vegetation types, favouring open areas, especially high-altitude grasslands.
Often feed alone, but sometimes in flocks. Feeds on insects caught in flight; sometimes feeds at night. Attracted to emergences of termite alates and to fires.
Breeds in colonies on cliffs (sometimes trees in eastern Africa). Shallow nest built in crevice using feathers, grass and plant down collected aerially. One to two white eggs are laid (September to February in southern Africa).
The call is a screaming 'shree', higher-pitched than the call of the Common Swift, and repeated frequently in aerial displays.
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