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Black Saw-wing.jpg
Black saw-wing
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Hirundinidae
Subfamily: Hirundininae
Genus: Psalidoprocne
Cabanis, 1850

5, See list

The saw-wings, Psalidoprocne, is a small genus of passerine birds in the swallow family. The common name of this group is derived from the rough outer edge of the outer primary feather on the wing, which is rough due to recurved barbs. The function of this is unknown.[1] The birds are 11–17 cm long and black or black-and-white in colour.[2] The genus has an African distribution and all species can be found foraging over forest and woodland.[2]

Species list[edit]

There are at least five species of saw-wing. The black saw-wing has a large number of subspecies and many of these are sometimes considered to be separate species.[3] The species, in taxonomic order, are:

  • Square-tailed saw-wing Psalidoprocne nitens
  • Mountain saw-wing Psalidoprocne fuliginosa
  • White-headed saw-wing Psalidoprocne albiceps
  • Black saw-wing Psalidoprocne pristoptera
    • Shari saw-wing Psalidoprocne (pristoptera) chalybdea
    • Petit's saw-wing Psalidoprocne (pristoptera) petiti
    • Mangbettu saw-wing Psalidoprocne (pristoptera) mangbettorum
    • Ethiopian saw-wing Psalidoprocne (pristoptera) oleaginea
    • Blue saw-wing Psalidoprocne (pristoptera) pristoptera
    • Brown saw-wing Psalidoprocne (pristoptera) antinorii
    • Blanford's saw-wing Psalidoprocne (pristoptera) blanfordi
    • Eastern saw-wing Psalidoprocne (pristoptera) orientalis
      • Includes the race reichenowi
    • Black saw-wing Psalidoprocne (pristoptera) holomelas
      • Includes races massaica and ruwenzori
  • Fanti saw-wing Psalidoprocne obscura


  1. ^ Perrins, Christopher (2004). The New Encyclopedia of Birds. London: Oxford University Press. 
  2. ^ a b Sinclair, Ian & Peter Ryan (2003). Birds of Africa south of the Sahara. Cape Town: Struik. 
  3. ^ Internet Bird Collection. "Black Saw-wing (Psalidoprocne pristoptera)". Retrieved 13 January 2010.