Appearance Red-rumped Swallows are small, 7" (18cm) birds, with a glossy blue-black cap, nape and back. The 'ears' and area behind the eye are rufous. Its rufous rump contrasts with its dark back. The underparts are pale rufous. The underparts of the very long, forked tail are blue-black. Similar to the Rufous-chested Swallow, the migrant that is uncommonly seen around the wet areas of Lake Victoria basin and Mara GR. The cap of the Rufous-chested extends below the eyes, while the Mosqu's does not. Also similar to the uncommon Mosque Swallow, whose tail underparts are rufous-coloured.
Habits Red-rumped Swallows are monogamous and pairs or small groups are seen gliding or resting on branches. They build a flask-shaped mud nests with a tunnel entrance below overhangs, inside structures like caves or buildings. They lay an average of 4 eggs, incubation is approximately 14 days and the chicks fledge around 3 weeks after.
Diet Red-rumped Swallows hawk insects on the wing, scooping them out of the air with wide-open gapes. Often seen near herbivores, where insects are flushed into the air.
Resident Red-rumped Swallows are seen in the center or west of Kenya, most common in the Highlands. They prefer areas of open grassland between 1,200-2,500 metres.
Extra Red-rumped Swallow Facts Red-rumped Swallows have a song like a squeaking hinge "yaannn ~ kwer~yaannn ~ sheer~yaannn". Some Red-rumped Swallows are paleartic migrants from Europe and Asis, others are resident in Kenya.
Photographs Photographed in Kenya's Nairobi National Park.