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Birding Málaga


Common name White-rumped swift
Scientific name Apus caffer
Status Summer

Bird shaped like a swallow and smaller in size than other swifts (about 14 cm or 5.5 in). Long, narrow wings, fusiform body and a forked tail. Completely black plumage except for the rump and the throat, which are white.

Where it lives

Species of sub-Saharan origin that recently colonized the south of the peninsula in a natural way. It prefers sunny habitats with rock fields and close to river courses. The closest stable breeding settlement is in the Sierra de Cádiz.

How it lives

Summer species in the province and that can also be watched in migratory passage. Its presence and reproduction is linked to that of the Red-Rumped Swallow as it re-uses its nests by reforming their entry a bit. This swift breeds from May. It can expel the swallows to occupy their nests. One laying of 2 to 3 eggs. The White-Rumped Swift feeds on flying insects that it catches while in the air.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

It is a little frequent species with a very localized presence in the province. It is mainly observed in the eastern half of Malaga, Serrania de Ronda, Costa del Sol and Guadalhorce valley.

Curious facts

The name of this bird in Spanish is "vencejo cafre", which means "brutish swift". It may be that the behaviour of expelling swallows from their nests, even when they already have eggs or chicks, is the cause to assign this name to this swift, although the justification for this behaviour is to occupy them and put their own eggs in them. The word has also a resemblance with "Kaffraria", the former British colony located in South Africa and where this species is also present.

Wintering Summer Resident Migration