Cypsiurus: Swifts

African Palm Swift

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Cypsiurus - also referred to as "Palm Swifts" - is a genus that consists of two very similar species were formerly considered to be conspecific (one single species):


The body is slender. The tail is long and deeply forked, although it is usually held closed. They have long swept-back wings that resemble a crescent or a boomerang. Palm Swifts have very short legs which they use only for clinging to vertical surfaces, since swifts never settle voluntarily on the ground. They spend most of their lives in the air.

The plumage is mainly pale brown plumage.

Males and females look alike, and young birds can be identified by their shorter tails.

Diet / Feeding

They mostly feed on insects in flight. They often feed near the ground, and they drink on the wing.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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