IUCN threat status:

Data Deficient (DD)

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Biology

Usually observed in flocks, the African river-martin's flight is rapid with moments of gliding. It can feed while flying, snatching flying ants (their primary food) from the air, and it also feeds on butterflies, moths, beetles, bugs and termites (2). Like many swallows, the African river-martin migrates, moving between two breeding areas; the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the coastal areas of Gabon and Congo (2) (5). However, it is not known if the same bird breeds at both sites, or if the non-breeding season is spent at one of them (2). Eggs and nestlings of the African river-martin have been recorded in February and March in the Democratic Republic of Congo, while breeding activities have been observed between September and November in Gabon and Congo. The river-martin nests in colonies of up to 800 birds, laying a clutch of three eggs into a hole situated in a sandbar in a river, in a grassy sand-ridge near the coast, or in a slope of the coastal plain. It often digs its own burrow, extending around 150 centimetres, or sometimes uses the existing burrow of a bee-eater (2).

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Source: ARKive

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