The SABAP dataset
White-throated Swallows and Greater Striped Swallows are common intra-African migrants in South Africa. However, their reporting rates over the last 12 years show a decline nationally. In some areas there are increases, and decreases in other areas.
On 2 November 2019 Joel and I searched some 20 bridges for swallow nests from Pinelands to Heathfield in Cape Town, South Africa. 12 bridges contained White-throated Swallow nests, many of which were empty. 1 nest had 3 eggs, and 2 nests had chicks (4 and 2 chicks) that were ringed. Another nest had chicks but the nest was too high to reach.
Five bridges had nests or remnants of Greater Striped Swallow nests, and adults were seen at several locations. Since their nests are enclosed, intact nests were not checked for eggs or chicks.
Although the survey was limited in extent (sampled a few suburbs) and duration (1 morning), many more White-throated Swallow nests were found than Greater Striped Swallow nests. Many White-throated Swallow nest sites were found, as well as some eggs and chicks. Although many nests were empty, they probably successfully fledged chicks earlier in the season. The Greater Striped Swallow may choose buildings more often than bridges as nest sites, and/or may be less common in the Cape Town southern suburbs.
There are at least 9 swallow species in Cape Town – read more about these here.
|If you would like to see swallows in Cape Town, or if you would like to ring swallows or other birds, contact Dieter at Birds4Africa !|