Schoutedenapus myoptilus (Scarce
Skaarswindswael [Afrikaans]; Shoa-gierzwaluw [Dutch];
Martinet de Shoa [French]; Maussegler [German]; Andorinhão de Shoa [Portuguese]
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Distribution and habitat
Occurs in Uganda, Kenya and eastern DRC, with small,
isolated populations elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. Within southern
Africa it is restricted to
Zimbabwe's eastern highlands and adjacent Mozambique. It generally prefers crags
and precipices in moist forest highlands, especially if near a waterfall.
Distribution of Scarce swift in southern Africa,
based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas
Animal Demography unit, University of
Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range
from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common).
Movements and migrations
It is thought to be a breeding migrant to eastern Zimbabwe,
staying from about July-March.
Mainly eats flying insects, such as ant and termite alates,
sometimes joining mixed-species foraging flocks.
Barely anything is known about its breeding habits, besides that egg-laying season is from September-January and it probably nests in
large fissures in high rock cliffs.
Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts
- Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker
Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.