Looking for common swift in Africa

I am looking for people who can tell me more about the common swift (apus apus) and its life in Africa!

Je cherche des collègues qui en savent plus sur les martinets noirs (apus apus) et leur vie en Afrique!

A good place to start: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=apus+apus+in+africa&btnG=


also https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/67847445

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Hi @Spyr welcome to the forum. Can you give a little more context - ie, what the information is for?

Wow, thank you for all of your good advice! I observe common swifts while they are breeding here in Switzerland. In my photos I try to capture some their natural habitat, as well. Now that they have left, again, I am thinking about the places where they are going to in the South. I would like to learn more about where these places are and what they look like. Does the common swift live in villages and towns as it does during its European breeding time? Does it live near open land, near mountains or in places with grass and trees?
Research with mini-senders is just beginning. This is why I thought of trying to reach out to people in places where the swifts are now, via this forum.

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Do you happen to know of any research project going on about common swifts in southern Africa?

I don’t know myself, but you could check out iNat observations of swifts from Africa and see if there is any info in those that is interesting:
You can play around with filters, etc.

You can also contact the ornithology department at University of Cape Town


I see them occasionally in Serengeti and around Laikipia in Kenya. Quite tricky as multiple swift species in the area. Still worth reading David Lacks “Swifts in a Tower” for a mine of eloquent information about swifts. I suspect he talked a lot with Alex Forbes -Watson about swifts in Africa.

Thank you for all of your good advice! I will do all of this, and am also thinking about starting a project here on inaturalist.

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Yes, I also thought, that this might be part of the problem. In summer, we only have the common swift and the alpine swift. These two are rather easy to distinguish, because of their calls and their size. We’ve also got swallows, but even in my village they don’t live in exactly the same territory as the swifts. I also realize that it must be difficult to observe them closely while they keep flying.