Medium-sized swift with erratic flight. Note the dark underparts and white rump patch, which separate it from other spinetails. Seen on the wing over moist savannah, woodland, and gallery forest. Often in areas with baobabs, which are a favored nesting site. Usually solo or in pairs. Similar in appearance to Little Swift, but Mottled Spinetail shows a pale band across the bottom of the belly, and flies more weakly, with the wings pushed forwards.