African Palm-Swift Cypsiurus parvus

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Identification

POWERED BY MERLIN

A very slender gray-brown swift with a long, deeply forked tail that is often held closed, making it look needle-like and pointed. The erratic flight pattern, with frequent direction changes and rapid wingbeats on long, scythe-shaped wings, is distinctive. Less gregarious than other swifts; usually found in pairs or small flocks, and association with other swallows and swifts is usually only fleeting. Forages over a wide variety of habitats with palms, including savanna, coastal scrub, towns, villages, cultivated areas, forest edge, and clearings, from sea level up to 1800 meters of elevation, preferring lowlands. Nests and roosts in palms and uses its tiny legs with hook-like claws to cling to the undersides of fronds. Gives a high-pitched, metallic “tre-tit-tit-tit-tit-tit-tit-tit” call, solitarily or in unison with others. Separated from other swifts by its longer and thinner tail.

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