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Horus Swift - BirdForum Opus

Photo by safariranger
South Luangwa N.P., Zambia, July 2006
Apus horus

Includes: Loanda Swift

Identification

13-15 cm. Blackish with a white patch on the chin and a white rump. Forked tail.

Distribution

Sub-Saharan Africa. Patchily distributed in Central Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and from Uganda south to Burundi and Zaire. More widely distributed in the south (South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia).
Locally common in good habitat and not globally threatened.

Photo by Alan Manson
Middelrus, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, January 2012

Taxonomy

Two subspecies recognized:

  • A.h.fuscobrunneus in SW Angola
  • A.h.horus in the rest of its range

The form toulsoni of Zimbabwe and NW Angola is very controversial. Some authorities give full subspecies status, others believe it to be a dark morph of the nominate subspecies.

Photo by nkgray
Marievale, South Africa

Habitat

Forages aerially over over grassland, woodland and semi-desert.

Behaviour

It builds a flat nest of vegetation and hair, glued with saliva; it is situated at the end of a tunnel (generally excavated by another hole-nesting bird). One to four eggs are incubated for 28 days to hatching, and the fledging period is about 6 weeks.

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