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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Lesser Striped Swallow

Afrikaans name: Kleinstreepswael

Lesser Striped Swallow

Lesser Striped Swallow

Photo © Steven Herbert

Hirundo abyssinica

During spring and summer the Lesser Striped Swallow is a common sight along the eastern regions of South Africa.

They are smaller and more brightly coloured than the similar Greater Striped Swallow.

Lesser Striped Swallows are found in open areas such as grasslands, parks, gardens, farmlands as well as along forest margins.

Most of its prey are insects which are caught in flight. It will however take some food items on the ground with caterpillars being a favourite. They will occasionally eat fruit and seeds.

The swallows have certainly taken to building their mud nests on man-made structures. These could be houses, bridges or culverts. The main requirement is that there is an overhang. They do also breed under rock overhangs or even in cavities in trees. 3 eggs are normally laid. The interesting thing about their nesting behaviour is that the pair will often return to the same nest year after year.

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References and further reading

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 85

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 100

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 152

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 52

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 142

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Year Published: 2004 - Page: 183

Geoff Lockwood's Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Year Published: - Page: 115

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: 462

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 456

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 296

List of South African Birds

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