French: Martinet noir German: Mauersegler Spanish: Vencejo común
Other common names:
Subspecies and Distribution
A. a. apus
(Linnaeus, 1758) – W, N & S Europe and NW Africa E to L Baikal, SE towards Iran; winters Africa, mainly from DRCongo and Tanzania S to Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
A. a. pekinensis
(Swinhoe, 1870) – Iran and Transcaspia, and N, C & E Afghanistan, E through W Himalayas (to C Nepal) to Mongolia and N China; winters E & S Africa (primarily in Namibia and Botswana).
16–18 cm; 31–52 g; wingspan 42–48 cm. Large rakish swift with long, deeply forked tail and sharply pointed wings; black-brown mantle, outer wing, lesser coverts,... read more
Most common call is a shrill, piercing, wheezy or reedy scream “srreeeeerrr”, overslurred with top... read more
Wide range of habitats from arid steppe and desert on S & E boundaries, temperate and... read more
Food and feeding
Prey up to 12 mm taken, with stinging insects avoided. Over 500 prey species noted in European diet. German study analysed 11,384 insects... read more
Season: Mar–Jun, Israel; probably May–Jun, Pakistan and Kashmir; mid-May to late Jul Britain and Ireland, and a week earlier... read more
Long-distance migrant. Present at SW Palearctic sites from mid Mar, arriving later further N; main... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Declines apparent in some areas of Europe at least, where breeding population recently reported to have decreased in 12 countries.... read more
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