Family Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Least Concern

Mosque Swallow (Cecropis senegalensis)


French: Hirondelle des mosquées German: Senegalrötelschwalbe Spanish: Golondrina senegalesa

Hirundo senegalensis


, 1766,



Race saturatior intergrades with nominate in Sudan and with monteiri in SE Kenya (area between Nairobi and Mombasa). Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. s. senegalensis (Linnaeus, 1766) – extreme S Mauritania and Senegambia E to N Ghana, N Nigeria, N Cameroon, S Chad and S Sudan.
  • C. s. saturatior (Bannerman, 1923) – S Ghana E to S Cameroon, South Sudan and Ethiopia and S to Congo, N DRCongo, Burundi and N & S Kenya.
  • C. s. monteiri (Hartlaub, 1862) – Angola and S DRCongo E to S Kenya, S to N Namibia, N Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and extreme NE South Africa.
  • Descriptive notes

    24 cm; 38–54 g. Nominate race has glossy purple-blue or steel-blue crown and back, rufous collar which becomes very narrow on hindneck and is sometimes broken by dark... read more


    Song is rambling mix of nasal, whining and creaking notes; calls include a nasal “nyaa... read more


    Grassland, savanna, bush, woodland, especially mopane woodland, clearings in forest, rivers,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet includes Hymenoptera (flying ants), termites (Isoptera), flies (Diptera). Feeds alone or in small groups, mixes with other hirundines... read more


    Before and during rains in W Africa, e.g. Jul–Oct and Dec in Senegambia, Jan, Apr–Jul and Oct in Ghana, May–Aug in... read more


    Mainly resident, especially in S; partly migratory in some areas, and often present mainly in wet... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally considered to be scarce or only locally common, especially in S of range; common in some areas, e.g. Ghana, E Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe. Has... read more

    Recommended citation

    Turner, A. (2020). Mosque Swallow (Cecropis senegalensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 28 February 2020).