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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Banded Martin

Afrikaans name: Gebande Oewerswael

Banded Martin in dry grassland

Banded Martin

Photo © Steven Herbert

Riparia cincta

The Banded Martin has a rather scattered distribution across South Africa but it is most common on the Highveld in grassland habitat. Martins and Swallows are closely related birds and share many of the same characteristics.

These birds tend to fly fairly close to the ground which is where they hunt for flying insects which form the main part of their diet. They can sometimes be seen flying near large mammals such as Burchell's Zebra that tend to flush out insects as they move along.

Banded Martins are not resident in South Africa all year round. During winter they migrate further up Africa and return in spring to breed. They make a tunnel in bank for their nest. Between 2 and 4 eggs are laid and are tended to by both parents.

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References and further reading

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 83

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 68

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 154

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 53

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 146

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 411

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 468

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 462

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 300

List of South African Birds

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