Wire-tailed Swallow ( Hirundo smithii, family: Hirundinidae)

Wire Tailed Swallow Kruger ParkThe Wire-tailed Swallow (Latin name Hirundo smithii) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 522 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 751 also a picture of the Wire-tailed Swallow on page 816. The Wire-tailed Swallow belongs to the family of birds classified as Hirundinidae.

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

wire tailed swallow kruger national park birds The Wire-tailed Swallow is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

In terms of distribution of the Wire-tailed Swallow in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Wire-tailed Swallow : see above distribution map.

The Wire-tailed Swallow.

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 Wire-tailed Swallow 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 Wire-tailed Swallow is about 14 cms and its weight is about 13 gms

The male and female Wire-tailed Swallow have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is red.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is brown.
  • Legs are black.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Wire-tailed Swallow feeds on the ground mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Wire-tailed Swallow is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Hirundo smithii will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Wire-tailed Swallow is to lay eggs which are white in colour and number between 2 to 4

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Wire-tailed Swallow are: woodlands and grasslands . The Wire-tailed Swallow is also at home in wetland areas.

You will normally see the Wire-tailed Swallow in pairs.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... iNkonjane

Afrikaans ...Draadstertswael

German ... Rotkappenschwalbe

Portuguese ... Andorinha-cauda-de-arame

French ... Hirondelle longs brins

Dutch ... Roodkruinzwaluw

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

Robert's 7th edition number ... 522

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