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Greater Striped Swallow / Grootstreepswael

Hirundo cucullata


The Greater Striped Swallow is 18–20 cm long. It has dark blue blue upperparts with a pale orange rump and a chestnut crown, nape and sides of the head. The underparts and underwing coverts are creamy white with dark streaking, and the upper wings and underwing flight feathers are blackish-brown. The blackish tail has very long outer feathers; these are slightly longer in the male than the female. Juveniles are duller and browner, with less contrast and shorter outer tail feathers. The flight is slow and buoyant, and the call is a twittering chissick. Greater Striped Swallow is common, unafraid of humans, and has benefited from the availability of nest sites around habitation. It feeds mainly on flying insects, but has been known to eat small fruits.


This is a bird of dry open country, such as grassland, and has a preference for hills and mountains. It avoids more wooded areas, but is often found around human habitation.


The second picture shows the vocal opening in the throat. This can only be viewed when the swallow bend his head backwards to sing. The movement of the vocal opening can be seen as he sings.

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DrienieSwart 11 years ago


Maria dB
Maria dB 11 years ago

Lovely spotting - welcome to Project Noah!

Spotted by

Gauteng, South Africa

Spotted on Dec 9, 2012
Submitted on Dec 9, 2012

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