African Palm-Swift ( Cypsiurus parvus, family: apodidae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Palm Swift

african palm swift kruger national park birds The African Palm-Swift (Latin name Cypsiurus parvus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 421 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 233 also a picture of the African Palm-Swift on page 257. The African Palm-Swift belongs to the family of birds classified as apodidae.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the African Palm-Swift was called the Palm 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 African Palm-Swift is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident

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

The African Palm-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 African Palm-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 African Palm-Swift is about 15 cms and its weight is about 14 gms

The male and female African Palm-Swift have the same plumage and colours

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

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The African Palm-Swift feeds on wing mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The African Palm-Swift is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Cypsiurus parvus will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of African Palm-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 2

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for African Palm-Swift are: grasslands

You will normally see the African Palm-Swift in flocks.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Palmwindswael

German ... Palmensegler

Portuguese ... Andorinho-das-palmeiras

French ... Martinet des palmes

Dutch ... Afrikaanse Palmgierzwaluw

First bird in list | Previous bird viewed | Next KNP bird | Last bird in list

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

Robert's 7th edition number ... 421

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 ,