Lesser Striped Swallow

The Lesser Striped Swallow (Cecropis abyssinica) is a partially migratory bird that breeds in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Lesser Striped Swallow has dark blue upperparts with a red rump and a rufous-chestnut crown, nape and sides of the head. The underparts are white with dark streaking, and the upper wings and underwing flight feathers are blackish-brown.

The blackish tail has very long outer feathers, which are slightly longer in the male than the female. The Lesser Striped Swallow has heavier and darker striping, a deeper red rump, and a brighter head colour than the larger Greater Striped Swallow (Hirundo cucullata).

Lesser Striped Swallow

Lesser Striped Swallow

The Lesser Striped Swallow grows to 10-15 centimetres (4-6 inches) long.

It prefers wooded areas and grasslands.

It feeds mainly on flying insects.

The Lesser Striped Swallow builds a bowl-shaped mud nest with a tubular entrance on the underside of a suitable structure, such as a bridge, tree branch, or cave. Females lays about three glossy white eggs.

The female sits on the eggs for 14-16 days before they hatch. Both parents feed the chicks. Fledging takes another 17–19 days (when the chicks grow their flight feathers and leave the nest).

Lesser Striped Swallow

Lesser Striped Swallow

Lesser Striped Swallow

Lesser Striped Swallow

Lesser Striped Swallow

Lesser Striped Swallow

 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

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