Little Swift ( Apus affinis, family: apodidae)

Little Swift kruger national park.gif The Little Swift (Latin name Apus affinis) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 417 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 240 also a picture of the Little Swift on page 257. The Little Swift belongs to the family of birds classified as apodidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Little Swift is also known by these other names: Little African Swift, House Swift.

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Little Swift is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident

In terms of distribution of the Little Swift in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Little Swift : see above distribution map.

The Little Swift.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The Little Swift is a small bird about the size of a house sparrow. Do not take this relative indicator as anything other than a rough easy to remember indicator. It is not a accurate visualization. The height of the Little Swift is about 13 cms and its weight is about 25 gms

The male and female Little Swift have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is brown.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is grey, white.
  • Legs are purple.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Little Swift feeds on wing mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Little Swift is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Apus affinis will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Little Swift is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 1 to 3

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Little Swift are: grasslands

You will normally see the Little Swift in flocks.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Kleinwindswael

German ... Haussegler

Portuguese ... Andorinho-pequeno

French ... Martinet des maisons

Dutch ... Huisgierzwaluw

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 417

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,