Chimney Swift

Chaetura pelagica




Swifts (Apodidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White, sometimes nest stained

Number of Eggs:

2 - 7

Incubation Days:

19 - 21

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

Hollow interior of tree, chimney, air shaft, vertical pipe, silo, or barn.

Nest Material:

Half saucer of sticks and saliva.





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. Sexes are similar.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Chimney Swift: Two to seven white eggs are laid in a nest made of twigs cemented together with saliva and fastened to inner wall of a chimney or, rarely, in a cave or hollow tree. Incubation ranges from 19 to 21 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Chimney Swift: Feeds on insects; forages in flight, sometimes quite high. Drinks by skimming the water surface in flight.


Chimney Swift: Song consists of loud, chattering twitters.

Similar Species

Chimney Swift: Vaux's Swift is somewhat smaller, with shorter wings, paler rump and throat, and different call.

The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X