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).
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).
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM