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Caprimulgiformes > Apodidae

African Swift

Apus barbatus

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Identification

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A dark, bulky, powerful, high-flying swift with a distinctly white throat patch and a contrasting grayish panel in the inner wing. It is resident in the northern part of its range and breeding migrant in South Africa. Masters of the air, foraging birds fly fast and can cover 1000 km/day, they gather at termite emergences and fires in order to hawk insects. The African Swift has a high-pitched screaming “zzzzzzzzzZZZZTTT” call. The similar Common Swift differs from African Swift by having a smaller throat patch and lacking a pale panel in the wing. Nyanza Swift is browner than African Swift and has a paler wing panel in the inner wing.

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African Swift

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