Skip to Content

Swift: Little

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

Moderator: hilda

User avatar
Batmad
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2729
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:05 pm
Location: Looking for Bats...

Swift:little

Unread postby Batmad » Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:20 pm

Little Swift (Apus Affinis)


Discription

This bird is a smallish bird in flight and has a little bit of white on the flanks. It also has a Square tail.


Habitat

This is a common species often seen around cities and buildings, and will also be seen in groups in flight.

Nesting

It is a colonial nester and builds nest on buildings, bridges etc.


Status

Common resident

Call

a soft or high pitched screech
Avid birder, wildlife enthusiast and photographer with a special interest in Bats and Birds

2014 Birding Big Year- A 365 Day quest for 800 Species of Southern African Birds

User avatar
Imax
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1065
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:54 am
Location: In Limbo

Swift: Little

Unread postby Imax » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:50 pm

Little Swift
Apus Affinis

Status: Common resident, with partial migrating populations that are absent in mid-winter.

Habitat: It forages in the air over all vegetation types, but there is a preference for more open grasslands and the Karoo, except high altitude alpine grasslands.

Nesting: It often builds its nets in large colonies, under dry overhangs. Naturally on cliff faces, but now more frequently on human constructions such as bridges, water towers and silos.

Breeding: Egg laying takes place between September and April.

Relationships with other species: It freely joins mixed species of foraging flocks of swifts and some times swallows. Complimentary with Horus Swift at higher elevations in the Drakensberg.

Image

User avatar
Guinea Pig
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1743
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Location: My business...

Re: Little Swift

Unread postby Guinea Pig » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:56 pm

We have literally hundreds of them in the air above Vanderbijlpark. Especially after rains when the flying ants come out. Quite a sight. I've noticed them flying here with White Rumped Swifts mostly. The WRS fly way lower than LS though.

User avatar
Imax
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1065
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:54 am
Location: In Limbo

Re: Little Swift

Unread postby Imax » Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:01 pm

GP also watch out for Horus Swifts. I gave WTM the tip a while ago of watching swifts when a thunder storm is approaching, as they love to "ride" the front of the storm.

He got his Horus Swift at BnD a few weekends ago by doing this!

User avatar
Rusty Justy
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2626
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:11 pm
Location: Sunninghill(JHB), Vaalwater & Beauty(Waterberg), Grahamstown(E.C)

Re: Little Swift

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:05 pm

Busy watching some of these guys as we(I) speak(type) :D They always here with Palm and White-Rumped Swifts!!!

As for the Horus, I must get Marievale sometime again!!! or BnD!! :twisted:
:dance: STIFFNECKS MEMBER :dance:

FGASA LEVEL 1

User avatar
Guinea Pig
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1743
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Location: My business...

Re: Little Swift

Unread postby Guinea Pig » Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:10 pm

Imax wrote:GP also watch out for Horus Swifts. I gave WTM the tip a while ago of watching swifts when a thunder storm is approaching, as they love to "ride" the front of the storm.


Will do! We had two severe storms two days in a row and did comment that there were even more than usual. 8)

User avatar
Guinea Pig
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1743
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Location: My business...

Re: Little Swift

Unread postby Guinea Pig » Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:58 pm

Imax, jou doring! 8) / Imax, you beauty! We just had a huge downpour and the swifts are out in full force. Watched through binoculars. 3 kinds - Little / White Rumped and yes, Horus swifts! Knowing they may be there made the forked instead of square tail obvious. I always took them all for Little Swifts.

User avatar
Rusty Justy
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2626
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:11 pm
Location: Sunninghill(JHB), Vaalwater & Beauty(Waterberg), Grahamstown(E.C)

Re: Little Swift

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:41 pm

Congrats GP!! :dance: :dance:

I must keep a look out for Horus!! :twisted:
:dance: STIFFNECKS MEMBER :dance:

FGASA LEVEL 1

User avatar
Guinea Pig
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1743
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Location: My business...

Re: Little Swift

Unread postby Guinea Pig » Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:48 pm

Thanks RJ! 8) Look carefully. With the naked eye you won't see the difference. They look exactly the same but for the slight fork in the tail. With binos and watching a while it becomes obvious.

User avatar
Imax
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1065
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:54 am
Location: In Limbo

Re: Little Swift

Unread postby Imax » Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:09 pm

I think i should start charging for that tip! :twisted:

Well done! :clap: :dance:

What I forgot to say in the previous post was that usually they fly at very high altitudes, but the storms force them down, that why you get to see them.

Remember to post your new total in the how many birds on your list thread at the end of the month!

User avatar
Guinea Pig
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1743
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Location: My business...

Re: Little Swift

Unread postby Guinea Pig » Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:17 pm

:lol: Will do, Imax.

User avatar
Imax
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1065
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:54 am
Location: In Limbo

Re: Little Swift

Unread postby Imax » Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:36 pm

Another few shots of little swifts. These were easier than the previous one as we were standing on a bridge with them flying below us.

Image

Image

User avatar
Rusty Justy
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2626
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:11 pm
Location: Sunninghill(JHB), Vaalwater & Beauty(Waterberg), Grahamstown(E.C)

Re: Swift: Little

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:00 pm

Not very easy birds to photograph! :evil:
:dance: STIFFNECKS MEMBER :dance:

FGASA LEVEL 1


Return to “Birding in Southern Africa”