Swift (Apus apus)

Back To

AKA: Common swift







The swift is a medium-sized aerial bird, which is a superb flier. It evens sleeps on the wing! It is plain sooty brown, but in flight against the sky it appears black. It has long, scythe-like wings and a short, forked tail. It is a summer visitor, breeding across the UK, but most numerously in the south and east. It winters in Africa.

Where does it live?

In buildings, especially older ones where there is suitable access into the roof space.Wintering Africa.

When Do They Breed ?

May to July , 2 - 3 Eggs , Incubation 18 - 20 days , Young fledging in 40 - 50 Days. Nests in colonies under roofs and in crevices of cliffs.

Where to see it

Look up in the sky in summer, often very high. They never perch on wires like swallows. You might see excited screaming parties of them careering madly at high speed around rooftops and houses, often low, especially towards dusk.

What does it eat?

Entirely small Flying insects Eg Midges and airborne spiders.

What does it sound like?

It makes a prolonged, shrill screaming call in flight.

Click here to Hear the Swift

When to see it

April – August.

Similar species

Swallow, House martin