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Home > Haith's Wildlife Blog > The Swift

The Swift

Tuesday, 9th April 2019

The Swift (Apodidae) is part of a family of highly aerial birds; it is mainly a dark brown colour, with a whitish pale throat.
Their legs are extremely short and the feet are very small which are adapted for clinging on vertical perches. They have long narrow wings and a tail that is slightly forked which can easily be distinguished them from Swallows and Martins.

Swifts arrive in the UK during late April or early May and will reveal their presence with their screaming call which is a harsh "Sheree" sound. They stay around 12 weeks and are one of the last summer migrants to arrive in the UK and the first to leave.

Breeding mostly in the UK and winter in Africa; they nest under eaves or holes – often inside an old building. They make their nest by gathering grass and leaves which are bonded together with saliva, later they catch as many feathers as they can to insulate it.

This incredible bird spends almost its entire life on the wing and even eats, sleeps and mates in flight, the only time it stops flying is while breeding. For the Swift to survive they depend on the abundance of insects, and having a small, wide beak it is perfectly adapted to catch insects in flight.

Swifts are amazing birds and you are mostly like to see them swooping around in large groups creating a silhouette against the sky, because they are so fast and totally aerial they are never on the ground.

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