Squaretailed sawwing

Psalidoprocne nitens

SUBFAMILY

Hirundinae

TAXONOMY

Atticora nitens Cassin, 1857. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Square-tailed saw-winged swallow; French: Hirondelle a queue courte; German: Glanzschwalbe; Spanish: Alas de Sierra de Cola Cuadrada.

Ptyonoprogne rupestris

H Breeding | Nonbreeding

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

4 in (11 cm). The body is overall colored glossy dark-brown and black, with sheens of green and purplish and a squared back of the tail. Males have a distinctive, hook-like thickening of the outer vane of the first primary, which may play a role in mating or a means of clinging to a vertical wall.

DISTRIBUTION

Central and western tropical Africa. HABITAT

Occurs in open areas within tropical forested habitats, generally near water.

BEHAVIOR

A non-migratory species that uses aerial display and a relatively faint song to defend a breeding site and attract a mate.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Feeds on flying insects, which are caught on the wing.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Monogamous. Nests in a tunnel dug into a sandy bank. The clutch size is two eggs.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. A locally abundant species.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Not of much importance to humans, other than the indirect economic benefits of ecotourism focused on birding. ♦

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