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Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)

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Chimney Swift Roost

Scores, perhaps hundreds, of Chimney Swifts whirl in a flock, then form a funnel-shaped cloud above a chimney. Now they begin to descend, first one - and finally hundreds - swirling down into the chimney. Each bird drops inside and catches onto the rough interior, where it will hang until morning... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Swifts Roost in Chimneys

What could bring crowds of people out after sunset on a September evening to stare at  ... a chimney? Swifts, of course! Scores of swifts form a funnel-shaped cloud above the right kind of chimney, then they begin their descent. First one, then a few more, then dozens, then hundreds swirl... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  backyard sanctuary, ecology, migration

Swallow or Swift?

At a glance, swallows and swifts, both graceful fliers, look much alike. But swifts — like this Chimney Swift — have longer, slimmer wings and short bodies, enabling them to glide for long periods. Their glides are punctuated by rapid, stiff bursts of wing-beats. Swallows, on the other hand, flex... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birding, birdwatching, flight
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