Horus Swift ( Apus horus, family: apodidae)

horus swift Kruger National Park birds The Horus Swift (Latin name Apus horus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 416 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 242 also a picture of the Horus Swift on page 257. The Horus Swift belongs to the family of birds classified as apodidae.

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 Horus Swift is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

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

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 Horus 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 Horus Swift is about 15 cms and its weight is about 26 gms

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

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

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Horus Swift feeds on wing mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

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

The nesting habit of Horus Swift is to create the nest in a hole in a tree trunk. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 2 to 4

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Horus Swift are: grasslands and arid areas

You will normally see the Horus Swift in flocks.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Horuswindswael

German ... Horussegler, Erdsegler

Portuguese ... Andorinho-das-barreiras

French ... Martinet horus

Dutch ... Horusgierzwaluw

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

Robert's 7th edition number ... 416

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 , www.fitzpatrick.uct.ac.za