Chimney Swift

Chaetura pelagica

Order

APODIFORMES

Family

Swifts (Apodidae)

Code 4

CHSW

Code 6

CHAPEL

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Chimney Swift has a particularly large range of nearly 6 million square kilometers. The population of the Chimney Swift is around 15 million individual birds. The Chimney Swift is native to portions of the Caribbean and Central America. It has also been seen in the United Kingdom and Portugal. At this current time, there has not been any evidence to indicate that the population of this bird is declining. As a result, the Chimney Swift is rated as Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Chimney Swift: Medium-sized swift, uniformly dark brown with slightly paler throat and upper breast. Inconspicuous spines extend past web at tips of tail feathers. Bill, legs and feet are black. Flight is rapid and batlike on swept-back wings, alternates with gliding. Soars on thermals and updrafts.


Range and Habitat

Chimney Swift: Breeds from southeastern Saskatchewan, southern Manitoba, central Ontario, southern Quebec, and Nova Scotia south through the Midwest and east coast to Gulf coast states. Spends winters in the tropics. Nests and roosts in chimneys and feeds entirely on the wing over forests, open country, and towns.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"chatter-chatter-chatter"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Chimney Swifts do not perch. Instead they use their long claws to cling to the walls of chimneys and other vertical surfaces.
  • The Chimney Swift looks a little strange as it flies. It appears to be beating only one wing at a time. Studies, however, have shown that it actually beats both wings. The illusion is due to the erratic nature of its flight with all the banks and turns.
  • These birds fly constantly. They are almost always on the wing except when they are at the nest or on the roost at night. They even bathe in flight by flying low over a body of water, touching the water with their chest and then shaking the water from their feathers.
  • A group of swifts are collectively known as a "box", "flock", "screaming frenzy", and "swoop" of swifts.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Chimney Swift

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X