Chimney Swift

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Magic Cards

Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)

Chimney Swift

It's hard to figure out how these birds ever existed without urban areas, since they literally earn their first name by nesting and roosting in chimneys, propping themselves against the inside surface with short, spiny tails.

This swift is normally found only east of the great plains.  Small birds at about 5 inches long, they are aloft all day long, and almost always in groups.  They migrate in large flocks and nest from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.  Watching a flock of swifts flow funnel-like into a chimney is a startling evening experience.  The birds express themselves with a chatter of chipping cries, one of the easiest identifications of the species.  Their only food is insects, and they are highly beneficial.

 


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