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Swifts: Apodidae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Chimney Swift (chaetura Pelagica): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, SWIFTS AND PEOPLE

CHIMNEY SWIFT (Chaetura pelagica): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
AFRICAN PALM SWIFT (Cypsiurus parvus): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

Swifts are found throughout most of the world, on every continent except Antarctica.


Swifts' habitats vary from coniferous and deciduous forests to grasslands where there are few trees.

Swifts need to build nests in locations where it is easy for them to take flight. Swiftlets build nests in caves. Some birds make nests on cliffs, in chimneys or other tall structures.


Swifts are insectivores, animals that eat insects. Flying swifts catch and eat insects including flies, ants, beetles, and sometimes spiders. Adults eat one to three times an hour, and some birds eat ten thousand insects a day.


People harvest swiftlet nests for use in bird's nest soup. Bird watchers enjoy watching colonies of swifts fly across the sky. Some people track their migration and report the birds' progress on the Internet.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirds