Fun White-rumped Swift Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun White-rumped Swift Facts For Kids

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Are you fascinated by swifts, like chimney swifts? Then here we have all the information on white-rumped swifts. The white-rumped swift (Apus caffer) is a species of swift bird that belongs to the family Apodidae. They can be seen from southern Gabon towards Namibia and central Ivory Coast, southwards to South Africa, and eastwards to Somalia. They are also seen in southern Spain, northwestern Liberia, Senegal, Gambia, and more. They have a deeply forked tail similar to swallows and a white rump that is pretty contrasting to their black body. They use the same breeding nest for a long period of their life, about nine years. These small birds are only about 5.5 in (14 cm) in length and feed on insects.

Read on to know more about the white-rumped swift and if you like this article, then also check out white-throated swift facts and common swift facts.

Fun White-rumped Swift Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?


What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.8 oz (22 g)

How long are they?

5.5 in (14 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Black, white

Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Forests, Scrublands, Arid Savannah


South Africa









White-rumped Swift Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a white-rumped swift?

The white-rumped swift (Apus caffer) is a species of bird.

What class of animal does a white-rumped swift belong to?

The white-rumped swift belongs to the class Aves of animals.

How many white-rumped swifts are there in the world?

The European population of this species is only about 110-200 pairs of birds. This equates to about 220-400 mature individuals. However, this number only makes up around less than 5% of the global population of these birds. Yet, the global population of these birds in an exact number is not known.

Where does a white-rumped swift live?

The white-rumped swift can be seen living from southern Gabon towards south to central Namibia and from central Ivory Coast southwards to South Africa and eastwards to Somalia. They can also be found in eastern and northern Sierra Leone, central Morocco, southern Spain, northwestern Liberia, Senegambia, and eastern Portugal. They are partially migratory, but their non-breeding wintering ground is not known.

What is a white-rumped swift's habitat?

The white-rumped swift's habitat is pretty widespread. They can be found living from equatorial forests to Mediterranean scrubs and arid Savannah. Sometimes they have also been seen living in urban areas of sub-Saharan Africa.

Who do white-rumped swifts live with?

The white-rumped swift is either solitary or occurs in loose small colonies of up to 15-20 individuals during the breeding season. These migratory non-breeding birds travel in flocks of a maximum of 100 birds.

How long does a white-rumped swift live?

The exact lifespan of this species is not known. However, swifts, in general, are able to live for about 21 years on average.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of the white-rumped swift (Apus caffer) happens year-round depending on their geographic location. Like, the breeding season occurs October-January in South Africa, September in Malawi, May-June in Ethiopia, and more. Both males and females reach sexual maturity early in life, at around two years of age. Serially monogamous, these birds stay with one partner for at least three years and reuse their breeding nest for at least nine years. Nothing is known about the courtship behavior between the male and female. After copulation, the female lays about one to three eggs. Both male and female adults incubate the eggs for the next 21-22 days. The fledging period is about 42-46 days after the eggs hatch.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this species of bird according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature is listed as of Least Concern. They have no great threats to their population. However, they have been listed in the Bern Convention Appendix II and EU Birds Directive Annex I.

White-rumped Swift Fun Facts 

What do white-rumped swifts look like?

The white-rumped swift is a small bird.

The white-rumped swift (Apus caffer) is a small-sized bird species. They have an overall black plumage with a highly contrasting, narrow white-colored rump. They also have a small white patch on their throat. Their forehead along with a small area above their eyes is a little paler shade. The most distinctive feature that relates them to swallows is the deeply forked tail of these birds. They have heavily marginalized rectrices that stay tightly closed for a long time. They have slim, long wings that have a white trailing edge to the secondary flight feathers.

How cute are they?

White-rumped swifts can be pretty cute owing to their small stature and adorable appearance. They are not aggressive towards humans, yet not also friendly towards them. Hence, admiring them from a distance would be the best choice of action.

How do they communicate?

The white-rumped swift communicates vocally and visually. Though, they have not been seen to be very vocal. Their one call is a harsh, repeated notes 'shrip' and 'shree'. Another one of their calls is a crescendo of scratchy, harsh notes 'shri-shri-shri'.

How big is a white-rumped swift?

An adult white-rumped swift size is about 5.5 in (14 cm) in length and the wingspan of the species is about 13.4-14.2 in (34-36 cm). The white-rumped swift is exactly the same size as cliff swallows, which are about 5.5 in (14 cm).

How fast can a white-rumped swift fly?

The exact speed at which this bird species flies is not known. However, swifts are one of the fastest little birds known to exist. They can reach a whopping speed of about 70 mph (112.6 kph).

How much does a white-rumped swift weigh?

White-rumped swifts are small birds. An adult white-rumped swift only weighs about 0.8 oz (22 g) on average.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The males of the species are called cocks and the females of the species are called hens.

What would you call a baby white-rumped swift?

A baby white-rumped swift (Apus caffer) is called a chick or hatchling.

What do they eat?

This bird species is carnivorous in nature. More specifically, research on their stomach content has revealed them to be insectivorous. Their diet consists of bugs, beetles, weevils, flies, fire ants, wasps, bees, winged ants, termites, and more.

Are they dangerous?

The white-rumped swift is not known to be dangerous or aggressive towards humans. They do show aggressive behavior when forcefully occupying the nests of other birds. Otherwise, they are a silent and calm bird species.

Would they make a good pet?

White-rumped swifts do not make good pets. Even though they are not aggressive, they are also not friendly towards humans. It would be best to leave them in their wild habitats where they can survive the best.

Did you know...

Swifts, in general, are not fully white in color.

Swifts, including the white-rumped swift (Apus caffer), have the unique ability to be able to sleep while flying at night. Researchers have found that they switch one part of their brains off to sleep and another to keep flying.

Many times groups of swifts have been seen chasing each other in flocks at a high speed.

Different types of swifts

There are about 100 known species of swifts in the world, such as common swifts, sooty swifts, Chapman's swifts, Alpine swifts, mottled swifts, and more. These different species primarily differ in their appearances and geographic distribution.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these swift bird facts and whiskered treeswift facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable bird coloring pages.

Main image by Dominic Sherony.

Second image by Alandmanson.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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