South African Cliff-Swallow ( Hirundo spilodera, family: Hirundinidae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called South African Cliff Swallow

south african cliff swallow kruger national park birds The South African Cliff-Swallow (Latin name Hirundo spilodera) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 528 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 760 also a picture of the South African Cliff-Swallow on page 816. The South African Cliff-Swallow belongs to the family of birds classified as Hirundinidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the South African Cliff-Swallow is also known by these other names: South African Swallow.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the South African Cliff-Swallow was called the South African Cliff Swallow

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

Endemic species is one that is confined to a specific country or region. For example certain birds endemic to South Africa only exist in that country. One such example is the South African Cliff-Swallow and this species depends upon a particular habitat for survival. Destroy that habitat and the bird will possibly be lost forever.

In terms of distribution of the South African Cliff-Swallow in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. South African Cliff-Swallow has been recorded in only 1 sections of the arbitrary Kruger Park regions I selected.

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 South African Cliff-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 South African Cliff-Swallow is about 14 cms and its weight is about 21 gms

The male and female South African Cliff-Swallow have the same plumage and colours

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

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The South African Cliff-Swallow feeds on the ground mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The South African Cliff-Swallow is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Hirundo spilodera will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of South African Cliff-Swallow is to create the nest in a hole in a tree trunk or a hole in the ground. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 2 to 6

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for South African Cliff-Swallow are: grasslands . The South African Cliff-Swallow is also at home in wetland and bushveld areas.

You will normally see the South African Cliff-Swallow in flocks.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Familieswael

German ... Klippenschwalbe

Portuguese ... Andorinha-sul-africana

French ... Hirondelle sud-africaine

Dutch ... Kaapse Klifzwaluw

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 ... 528

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 ,