Black Swift: Bird Description, Habitat, Food


Bird swift, perhaps, known to all. It can be seen both in the city and beyond. And this is not surprising, since swifts are one of the most common representatives of birds on the planet. They live on all continents, with the exception of Antarctica and several islands.

In the summer, these birds fly through the air with loud, screeching sounds. People are used to them and no longer pay attention to them, but they do not know that they see truly unusual birds.


Bird swift belongs to the order of swift. In general, in nature there are about eighty species of representatives of this order. There are migratory species and sedentary individuals. Swifts, as a rule, live in flocks, and prefer to nest in colonies, which in some cases reach several thousand pairs. These birds are active from early morning to evening.

What do swifts eat

The birds in question are very dependent on the ambient temperature and weather conditions, which is their main distinguishing characteristic. If the bird swifts fasting, her body temperature can drop to twenty degrees. That is why these birds have the ability to fall into a kind of stupor.

Swifts of insects are eaten, which are caught in the air with their beak like a net. If the food is not obtained, the birds sink into a kind of hibernation and can spend several days in this state until the weather conditions improve. This ability is not only adults, but also chicks of this species. In the "hibernation" they can hold out for about nine days, while the parents fly a few kilometers away in search of food.

Long-haul flights to get food are called weather migration. Winter bird swift flies, usually in August. However, again, in this case, everything depends on the weather.


These birds nest in trees, hollows, crevices of rocks, burrows and caves. It all depends on the habitat. Birds live in forests, cities, mountains and deserts. Couples create for life.

The shearing nest is built from plant fibers, twigs and feathers that birds pick up on the fly. Every year the birds return to their former nests. Housing construction lasts about a week.

Eggs are hatched by females for 16–22 days, at which time the male flies away in search of food. In a clutch there are usually white eggs, there may be four or only one.

Chicks do not leave the swift nest for 33-39 days, depending on weather conditions. Parents are fed several times a day with compressed lumps of saliva and insects. Then the chicks fly away, because they are already fully prepared to live an independent life.

Interesting Facts

  • Swifts do not know how to swim and walk, and can only sit on the branches of trees and fly. Therefore, birds drink, eat and even bathe on the fly.
  • When bad weather conditions are observed, and Swifts understand that they will not be able to feed the chicks, they throw the eggs out of the nest.
  • These are the fastest birds, the flight speed of which can reach 170 kilometers per hour.
  • Some species are able to sleep on the fly, while the time of such rest can reach several hours.
  • In the wild, these birds live for ten to twenty years.

Difference from swallows

Swifts and swallows are very similar in color and size, so they are often confused. However, upon closer examination it becomes clear that these are completely different birds. They even belong to different orders.

In size, swifts and swallows are quite comparable: the same wingspan, the same body length, but the weight of the young swift is twice the weight of the swallow. They differ in color. Despite the fact that the plumage of those and others is dark, the swifts have a greenish tint, there is a small white spot on the chin and throat. A distinctive feature of the swift is also a sharp beak, with which he seems to cut the sky (hence the name).

Swallows have usual bird's paws with three toes pointing forward and one to back. Thanks to this paw structure, birds are easily held on the perch and move along the ground.

Do swifts are unique. All four fingers are pointing forward, so it’s very difficult for the birds to keep their balance. This feature determined the style of sleep of the swifts: they hang on their heads upside down, because they cannot stand. In addition, the fingers pointing forward make it difficult to take off from the support, but as the birds rise into the sky, they forget how silly they look on the ground. In flight, swifts can reach speeds of up to 170 km / h, while swallows only reach 60 km / h.

Another difference is that after wintering the swifts arrive last, whereas the swallows are harbingers of spring.

Special features

Among close relatives of swifts is a hummingbird bird. One of the features of a swift is the cry that he publishes. This sound is very loud and long in time. The most active swifts in the evening. The age of the bird can be determined by the color of feathers. In young individuals it is pale, in adults it is dark with blue and green modulations. The older the bird, the blacker the feathers. Paws of a swift cut brown, short. A feathery spends most of its life in the air, because after landing it will be difficult for him to push off and take off.

A swift can fly faster than a plane, but the primacy is in the speed of falling near a falcon. If a bird accidentally lands on a balcony to a person, then it will not be able to fly independently, and it will be a crawling movement on a horizontal surface. Swifts - faithful birds. They choose their partner for life. Birds settle their nest together, annually return there. They have nests high in the trees, rocks, in caves. The birds of these birds are beautiful.


Black Swift looks very similar to swallow. A small round white spot is clearly visible on the chin and throat. The eyes are dark brown in color, the bill is black, and the legs are light brown or brown. The beak of a bird is short, but with a wide mouth opening. Females and males outwardly do not differ in anything, the only thing in young individuals is the color of feathers is light, bordering is dirty-white. In summer, feathers fade in the sun even more.

If you look at the photo, the swift looks like a pigeon. This bird cries loudly in the spring, so if it lives in cities, it gives a lot of discomfort to others. The most common types of swifts include white-bellied, black, mustache, palm, and pintail.


Black Swift is common in Europe. It can be found in Africa and in Asia. Swift is a migratory bird, but prefers nesting in Asia and Europe, where the climate is milder. Swift is one of the few species that prefers to settle in large cities in colonies, which is why city dwellers often can observe massive flights in the sky. Most often swifts circling near the top floors of high-rise buildings. Initially, black individuals chose another habitat — these were mountains and rocks with dense vegetation. The bird also prefers to settle closer to humans and water bodies.

In the temperate climate zone, the swifts are as comfortable as possible. There are a lot of insects in spring and summer, so there is something to eat. When the autumn cold weather comes, swifts fly away to winter in southern Africa. There are black individuals in Northern Asia and in the east of Europe. In Siberia, birds prefer to settle where there are pine forests. Many swifts in large cities: Kaliningrad, Kiev, St. Petersburg, Dushanbe.

Wintering and lifestyle

Swift is a bird that prefers to winter in warm regions, and with the onset of heat it always returns to its homeland. Swifts are loud and noisy, they like to fly not in solitude, but in packs. Most of the bird’s life is spent in flight. They make frequent flapping of their wings, flying fast. Feature of the form - the ability to perform planning flights. When the weather permits, the birds in the air compete with each other, making steep turns and making a loud cry.

Black Swift is a species whose characteristic feature is the lack of ability to walk on the ground. However, they can cling to the cliffs and vertical walls due to strong and strong paws.

How fast do they fly?

What is the speed of flight of the black swift? This bird is the record for speed. She is not only very fast, but also hardy. Adult swift flies at a speed of 110-120 km / h, even faster than a swallow. The appearance of the swift is in direct proportion to the speed of movement. Eyes covered with feathers that protect them during the flight. Bird black Swift recognized as the fastest on the planet, and its lifestyle depends on the weather. The peculiarity of a swift is the love of freedom. All her life she spends in the sky, almost never falling to the ground. Ornithologists recorded the highest speed of swift - 170 km / h. They develop it usually in horizontal flight. Swift can neither walk nor swim, as the legs are too short. The bird prefers to sit on rocks, wires, poles, trees, clinging sharp claws to the surface.


Judging by the description of the black swift, it is a small but very strong bird. The basis of her diet - insects, bugs, spiders. To find food, she spends a lot of time in the air, flying from place to place. In bad weather, swifts are forced to fly great distances in order to get their livelihood. The peculiarity of the bird is the destruction of pests (moths, mosquitoes). That is why the bird prefers to settle in megacities. Lodgings for her are pillars, trees, tall buildings. The swift is so hardy that it can soar through the air all night and doze off. Adult individuals rise to a height of up to three kilometers, and can also lose a third of their mass without harming their health.

Enemies of a bird

Swifts are birds that fly very quickly, so it is difficult to catch them, especially black animals. But swifts still become an attractive object for abdominal mites. These parasites cause dangerous diseases in swifts. Adults and patients are also often food for birds of prey and cats. Many birds die due to collision with electric wires during the flight.

Description, appearance, character and color

Externally, the swift is a small bird with a dense elongated body up to 20 cm, a flat head and a short neck. The beak is like a small oblate triangle. The wings of the bird in shape resemble a sword, narrow in width and slightly curved. The length of the wing reaches 17 cm and a span of 40cm. Adult weight up to 200g. The activity of the individual is high during the whole day, and the life expectancy reaches 5-6 years.

The dark brown plumage with a greenish tint makes the bird very recognizable. White collar on the chin adorns the body. Eyes, beak and legs also play in tune with the color of the body. Only the paws are large and short, light brown, and the eyes and beak are dark.

Why is the bird constantly in flight

The main part of the life of swifts fly, because on earth at any time can become a victim of a predator. But this is not the only reason why they spend all their time in the sky.

The characteristic uniqueness of the bird is that it practically does not know how to walk. This is due to the structure of the legs. They have just 4 fingers looking to the side. Therefore, on earth it is very difficult for her to maintain balance. Also she can not bounce and move on legs.

A swift can stay in the sky for 3-4 years: there he eats, sleeps and mates. By nature, birds are very nimble, as they develop a speed of up to 120 km / h in flight, which is twice the speed of a swallow. Even they build their nests at high altitude: in tree hollows or rocky coastal cliffs.

How do swifts sleep

Besides the fact that the bird sleeps in flight, it manages to plan in a dream in one place. Ornithologists at a university in Sweden have figured out why this is happening. As a result of radiolocations and observations, the following patterns were revealed:

  • the swift before bedtime is gaining a great height of about 3 thousand meters,
  • changes its direction across to the wind, turning every 50-60 seconds.

Thanks to this method, the bird simply flies along a certain path in one place. If the wind is moderate or weak, then the trajectory resembles a circle, if strong, then a rhombus or square.

Enemies and other troubles

Due to its ability to fly, Swift has no permanent enemies, except for one pest. Cavity tick is able to enter the body of both adults and young individuals, and cause serious diseases: from dermatitis to paralysis of the limbs.

Birds living in the city are often victims of cats. In the wild, occasionally there were cases when Swifts were faced with birds of prey, in the fight against which they died. There were also recorded situations where entire colonies died from the raid on the high-voltage transmission lines.

To this day, the birds do not trust people. Most likely this is due to the fact that at the end of the 19th century we hunted chicks, considering their meat to be delicious.

Avian ration and temperature drops

The bird eats exclusively insects. The beak and jaw resemble a net with which they gather small bugs. A large number of insects are placed in the mouth at a time, so a black (ordinary) swift is considered an assistant in pest control.

Birds can leave their nest if there are fewer insects around. Basically, this situation occurs when rainstorms begin, and small bugs hide in the ground and bark of trees. A national sign is connected with this fact: if swifts fly high - the weather will be good, if low - wait for the rain. The explanation is simple - increased humidity in the air causes insects to descend closer to the ground. Accordingly, the birds are forced to decline after them.

Swifts are very sensitive to summer low temperatures. In connection with the cooling, the body temperature decreases, and the bird falls into a stupor. Most often this happens in chicks, as they physically can not leave the place of bad weather. In such a state, they are able to endure bad conditions for 9-12 days without any special consequences.

Sexual maturity and reproduction

After the first year of life in swifts, puberty begins. But adults become parents only in the third year. After that, for two years actively reproduce.

The male finds a mate in the air and remains with her for life. Mating takes place in the sky, and after nesting begins. The height of the place where the nest will be located should not be less than three meters. Therefore, a young couple chooses a cliff or a tall tree, mainly near the river. City swifts nest under the balconies or the roofs of tall buildings.

The female lays 2-3 eggs. Chicks hatch after 16-22 days of incubation, depending on weather conditions. They are naked and blind. The interval between the babies can reach 24 hours, with the firstborn being the strongest. Within two weeks, the chicks open their eyes and are covered with a fluff.

Both mom and dad are engaged in feeding the ever hungry cubs. For forty days they will daily bring them thousands of insects interspersed with their own saliva. After the final maturation, the kids leave their nests and begin their own adult journey in the sky.

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Haircut description

Swift - a bird of medium size, has long, narrow crescent-shaped wings and a wide tail. The swift has a sharp short beak. A distinctive feature is the structure of the paws - all four fingers of the swift are directed forward, so they cannot walk on the ground or take off from it. Swifts are very fast birds, can reach enormous speed. Swifts spend a lot of time in flight, so they eat and sleep on the fly. They feed mainly on flying insects - mosquitoes, flies, and midges.

Swifts are very common, live almost everywhere. Very often they can be found in urban areas. They nest in high buildings, in mountains, on rocks, in crevices, in hollows of trees.

Swift can be confused with the swallow, as they are very similar in appearance.

Consider the following figure:

It shows:

  1. Black Swift - body length up to 16 cm, body weight up to 52 g, wingspan up to 48 cm.
  2. Pintail swift - body length up to 20 cm, body weight up to 140 g, wingspan up to 53 cm.
  3. Whitebelt swift - body length up to 18 cm, body weight up to 41 g, wingspan up to 43 cm.

Character and way of life

These birds prefer to live in colonies. This way of life helps them to keep everything under control, to observe the changes around them and in time to escape from possible danger.

The swifts are highly dependent on the surrounding natural factors, climate and temperature conditions. Favorite occupation of swifts, if they are not in flight, is their sitting on the cliffs, for which they skillfully cling with sharp claws.

For shearing important nutrition. Если у них появляются проблемы с едой, что особенно часто случается в период холодов, стрижи словно включают уменьшенный расход своей «батарейки». По-другому говоря, они становятся менее активны, словно пребывают в загадочном оцепенении. Это помогает птице расходовать энергии намного меньше, чем обычно.

Такое состояние может продлиться до нескольких дней, до наступления лучших погодных условий и появления возможности раздобыть себе еду. It is also characteristic of small chicks.

But they have another reason for it. Thus, babies can wait from the hunt of their parents. Waiting time can last about 9 days. In total, the activity of swifts is manifested from early morning until evening time.

Migrate for wintering in the warm edges of Swifts since August. Although it is impossible to determine the exact time for this, it all depends on the weather. If, in general, the weather conditions of the swifts completely satisfy the migration can be completely postponed.

Therefore, about some swifts can be said that they are sedentary birds. Particularly lacking of such sedentary swifts in large cities, where the air temperature is usually higher than in the forest or steppe, for example.

Swift chick

By the description of the bird swift possesses a hot temper. They can not be called cunning or cautious. These big teasers have repeatedly been seen as the instigators of fighting in their own circle or with other birds.

Often such fights are serious enough. At such moments, Swifts forget about any caution and completely indulge in the "war". In flight, the swifts almost nothing prevents and does not threaten. The only bird whose swift should be wary at this is the falcon.

The diet of swifts is composed exclusively of insects. They catch them with their mouth, resembling a net. A swallow's throat can accumulate in itself a very large number of insects. Therefore, these birds are considered excellent helpers in the fight against harmful insects.

Relocation of this feathered may depend on the presence of food in the habitat. As soon as insects become smaller due to weather conditions, so swifts and change their place of residence.

Black Swift - a bird that nobody can overtake

Have you heard of Ptah, which flies at the speed of an airplane? Not? Then it's time to get acquainted with a bird named Black Swift.

Black Swift has external similarities with swallows, but Swifts are slightly larger. Birds have short legs, arranged in such a way that it was convenient for them to cling to the sheer surface. These birds never descend to the earth of their own free will, as there they become vulnerable to predators. Black swifts spend most of their lives in the air.

Black Swift (Apus apus).

In horizontal flight, swifts are the fastest feathered, and in the fall they are outdated by falcons.

No bird can catch up in the air of the black swift, as these birds can fly at a speed of 180 kilometers per hour! At this speed, the bird can easily compete with a small “corn duster”.

But a large passenger plane cannot overtake a swift, because muscle strength is inferior to jet engines.

How does the bird swift

Black swifts have long, pointed wings, shaped like a sickle. Beak short black, small tail, forked at the end.

The body reaches a length of 16-18 centimeters, birds weigh from 90 to 110 grams. Their wingspan leaves 38-40 centimeters.

Most of their life swifts are in flight.

The plumage has a black-brown color, shimmering in the sun with a faint greenish tint. On the throat there is a pale spot of grayish color, visible only near. Legs are light brown, eyes are dark brown.

The color of the plumage in females and males is the same. Juveniles have a lighter body color than adults. Feathers have a gray edging.

Swifts Habitat

Migration flights are an integral part of the life of black swifts. In summer, birds nest in a large area from the western regions of Siberia and China to Spain. In the north for nesting birds choose the subarctic zones of Russia, Finland and Norway. In the south, black swifts breed in Algeria, Morocco, Israel, Turkey, Lebanon and the Middle East.

Flocks of black swifts make themselves felt loudly.

The nesting area, which covers the south of Central Asia and the whole of Europe, does not apply only to India. Also black swifts can not be found in Korea, China, Southeast Asia and Australia.

In winter, swifts are sent to the south of Africa. Also, these birds feel comfortable at the equator.

Listen to the voice of black swift
Black swifts have two sound tones - low and high, the males sing at low tones, and the females sing on the high tones. In the evening, birds gather in large flocks and shout loudly to the whole district.

Black swifts today prefer living in the city.

Today, black swifts are considered urban residents, since they build their nests close to people's dwellings. These birds are attracted to large buildings that are great for building a nest, and the people themselves have no interest in swifts.


Black swifts form a pair for many years. Strizhi pay great attention to the construction of the nest. Work is carried out throughout the week. Birds build nests in caves, between rocks, in tree hollows, on high-rise buildings. In recent decades, black swifts can be more often found within the boundaries of megacities.

The construction of the nest in black swifts is special: the birds collect fluff, twigs and small garbage, they glue all this with the help of saliva, and from this mass gradually build a nest. The nest in shape resembles a large dish.

The female lays 2 white eggs, in rare cases, the eggs can be 3. Both parents are engaged in nesting. As a rule, the incubation period lasts 2 weeks, but depending on weather conditions it can be more or less.

If food is not enough, the couple can leave the clutch and fly to another place, in which case they will not have offspring this year. Juveniles leave the nest a month after birth, but if the weather is bad, they can sit in the nest for 2 months.

Nestlings of black swifts have an exceptional feature - with insufficient nutrition, they fall into a stupor, which can last up to 2 weeks. Parents during this time find places where there is more food. After the chicks leave the nest, they begin a completely independent life and do not return to their parents.

Life expectancy of black swifts is on average 7-8 years, some representatives of the species can live to 15 and 20 years.

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All about haircuts: what are the birds, where they live and hibernate, what they eat

Probably not in the world of such a person who would never have heard of a migratory bird called "swift", or black swift.

This black bird got its name due to the peculiarities of the flight: it seemed to shear the clouds with its black tail, resembling scissors. This beautiful bird resembling a swallow.

In winter, this wonderful bird, like the swallow from Andersen's fairy tale “Thumbelina”, flies away to warm lands, and in spring it comes back again and brings warm weather on its wings.

Swift, or black swift - one of the fastest birds. She has unique wings that allow her to develop a tremendous speed and perfectly hold in the sky in any weather. Nobody has such wings, only the black swift.

Swifts birds: life features

Black swifts live in small flocks. In winter, when the birds get cold and have nothing to eat, they fly away for the winter to warm lands, to the south or to Asia. In early spring, the birds return from wintering, and the female begins to lay eggs. Chicks very quickly get used to independent living, master the art of flying and learn to independently get their own food.

This bird likes to settle in small nooks, preferring hard-to-reach places.

Perhaps this is due to the fact that in this way the bird is trying to protect itself from predators who like to eat bird eggs, as well as from people who are ravaging bird nests. It should be noted that in the nineteenth century it was on the verge of extinction.

Europeans believed that poultry meat has high palatability and high nutritional value, and massively ravaged nests in order to eat or sell poultry meat.

Usually a black haircut likes to settle in such places., as:

  • Deep hollows of oak or other mighty and large trees,
  • Minks on steep, steep river banks,
  • Fissures in the rocks
  • In cities or urban-type settlements, birds often live under roofs or in crevices of wooden houses.

Where does the Black Swift bird winter?

Since black swift is an exclusively insectivorous bird, in winter, when snow falls in Russia, it becomes difficult for birds to get food: beetles, worms, caterpillars.

In this regard, in late autumn, as soon as it begins to get significantly colder, the birds go to winter for warming, where there is no snow and you can easily get yourself food.

The most common wintering places for black swifts living in the Russian climate of the Central zone:

  • Equator,
  • South Africa,
  • Southeast Asia (Thailand),
  • Indochina
  • Islands of indonesia
  • Australia.

Swifts are sent for wintering in small flocks. During the migrations, the birds stay crowded, trying not to move away from each other. In the warm regions they spend about four to five months: as long as cold weather reigns in Russia and there is snow.

As a rule, the birds go for wintering at the end of October (the specific date is different each time and depends on weather conditions), and they return when the snow begins to thaw actively in Russia. As a rule, this is the first - the second decade of April. Arriving from wintering, the birds immediately begin to break up into pairs, create families and build nests.

Males fight for females, care for them and protect their territory, while females lay eggs and wait for nestlings to hatch from them.

Swift can often be found both in the city and in the village. These birds willingly make their nests next to human dwellings, but at the same time they do not let them close to them.

Swift is a real "orderly" of forests and fields, saving plants from insect pests.

Therefore, in no case can not destroy the swifts and destroy their nests! Otherwise, the number of harmful insects will increase dramatically, and plants in the forest and in the field, in the garden and in the garden may be in grave danger.

Swift black - truly unique bird. It has a beautiful black and white coloring, high speed of movement and extraordinary dexterity. Meet the swift is easy in the most unexpected places.

The main thing is not to frighten this wonderful bird and not to ruin nests, and you can also feed these glorious birds with their favorite food - worms and other insects.

Swifts are especially useful in the garden and garden, destroying dangerous pests.

What distinguishes a swift from other birds

A swift has many features that distinguish it from a multitude of equally small and inconspicuous, at first glance, birds. One of these features is a very loud long cry. Swifts scream in different keys: males on low, and females on high. Their screams are most intense in the evening. Then they flock to the flocks and scream, "cutting" the air in pursuit of insects.

The eyes of a swift during such a hunt are well protected by a special feather “flap”. With her bird insects are not afraid, which is so easy to encounter in the air. The wing of the black swift is long, slightly arched, and pointed.

Wingspan - up to forty centimeters. A black little beak and a small forked tail. These small birds weigh about a hundred grams with a body length of seventeen centimeters.

The color of young individuals and birds in years is slightly different. Older ones have a greenish-blue play on black, slightly brownish plumage. Over the years, black begins to dominate and becomes more intense.

From close range you can see a pale gray "collar."

The paws of the swift are also brown, but lighter than the plumage, and the eyes, on the contrary, are darker.

Toes on the legs of the black swift are also one of the distinguishing features. All four fingers of each paw “look” forward, while most birds have one — opposed to the rest for balance or the ability to cling to tree branches.

Swift is able to cling only to the sheer surface, he can crawl on the walls, but can not walk or jump on the ground. If swifts fall to the ground, they are in great danger: because their legs are too short, the birds are unable to push off and take off, they need an elevation that allows them to "lie down" on the wings, catching the wind.

For the same reason, flying into the balconies of the townspeople (which happens rarely, but still happens), the swift cannot fly away on its own: high railings do not allow it to be done, and on the floor it can only crawl on the wings.

In inclement weather, when insects hide from the rain, there is a hungry time for swifts. But nature has endowed the swift chicks with an amazing ability - to fall into a stupor.

In this state, they do not need food, and parents have the opportunity to go in search of more favorable hunting places.

At the same time they can fly away for quite a long distance and carry out hunting for up to fifteen days.

Another feature of the black swift is its ability to reach a flight speed exceeding that of an airplane. This bird is the most reactive among Russian dogs and only at the speed of its fall is the falcon ahead of it.

A couple of swifts and a nest

Swifts are faithful to their partners. The pair is formed for many years. Together they set up their homes, where they will always return from year to year. The nest is built of fluff, small debris and twigs. All this is glued together with saliva and made in the shape of a dish.

Swifts nests are located in rocks, caves, trees, and recently these birds can be more often found in cities, in high-rise buildings.

Contagion in swifts displayed two or three eggs. Both the female and the male incubate them for fourteen days. This time varies depending on the weather and, therefore, the ability to hunt. In the case of very adverse weather conditions, parents can leave the nest, deprived of the opportunity to produce offspring this year.

Adult chicks fly out of the nest a month after birth, but if the weather is not concomitant, they can linger by two. As soon as the young ones leave the nest, their independent life begins.

What is it, swift bird: photos, description and video

We all remember how swarms of swifts rush in the sky in the summer. It is hard to believe, but these tiny birds spend 90% of their life in the air and over the summer are able to destroy more than a hundred thousand insects.

They are mistaken by many as relatives of the swallows. But this is a fallacy.

Starting from the second half of April until the first half of September, swifts are circling every day in the sky.

In total in the world there are more than 16 types of swifts. They are distributed throughout the world, except for Antarctica, the tundra part of Europe, the north and east of Siberia. The most common in the eastern part of Europe is the Black or Tower Swift. It differs from other species in color - from dark gray to bluish-black.

It is mistakenly believed that a relative of swift is a swallow. According to the biological classification, the swallow refers to the passerine, and the swift - to the swift. The closest relative is a hummingbird. With swallows, they are similar only in appearance. Like a hummingbird, swift does not fall to the ground.

This is due to the structure of the wings and legs.

He cannot swing his wide wings. And short legs, the fingers on which are directed only in one direction, do not allow them to keep balance. Therefore, on earth they are helpless and defenseless.

Like hummingbirds, swifts fly at great speed. It may exceed one hundred kilometers per hour. Moreover, the swallows reach a speed of no more than 50-60 km / h. The fastest swift, the Needletail swift, develops a speed of about 140 km / h.

In the sky swift can be distinguished by a short tail and the characteristic "kriiiiiii." Unlike swallows, they fly in small flocks and without much pirouettes.

No wonder swifts are called "air marathon". Only during the period of feeding chicks (2-3 months), they fly a distance of more than 40,000 km. It is hard to believe, but the first two years of their lives, young birds do not descend on a solid surface at all. They do absolutely everything in the air - they eat, grow, sleep, care and mate.

The fact that the swifts even sleep in the air was accidentally discovered by a military pilot during World War II, when he shot down "some birds" at an altitude of 2 km. Later, it was found that during sleep, Swifts would wake up about every five seconds to move wings.

Swifts feed exclusively on insects. Their mouth is a net in which insects are caught. Thus, in the throat of a swift can gather up to thousands of different insects.

Eyes of swifts from the top and front are covered with dense feathers - “eyebrows” for protection from debris and insects.

Young swifts have a whitish color around the beak.

What is a swift, and how it differs from its "relative" swallows, have already figured out. Now you can find out how the haircut begins its life.

Feeding up the nestling swift

Not uncommon, when chicks fall out of the nest. Nestlings who are not yet adapted to independent living by development die. Но если в дикой природе выпадение из гнезда – это стопроцентная смерть, то в городе у них есть шанс. Этим шансом для них может стать человек. Но чтобы вырастить здоровую птицу, необходимо точно знать и строго выполнять правила кормления и ухода за птенцом стрижа.

Этот раздел статьи будет написан по личному опыту выкармливания двухнедельного птенца стрижа. Забегая наперёд, могу сказать, что в конце лета я выпустил на свободу молодого и здорового стрижа.

If you find a swift chick, then immediately look at it. Is there blood, are all bones intact. If you notice damage, immediately contact your nearest veterinary clinic. Do not be afraid of white pieces of skin on the body of the chick. They appear in the process of plumage and do not pose a threat to human health.

Immediately try to feed him. In no case can not feed bread or meat. You must kill either a fly or a small butterfly. Insects should be of medium size, because the chick is probably weak and will not be able to swallow a large amount of food right away.

To feed the swine chicks, you must:

  • Gently squeeze his beak on the sides at the base.
  • As soon as he opens it at least a little, gently open the beak with your finger, gently pressing the bottom of the beak. You can not click on the top, because it can break, and this is a sure death.
  • Simultaneously with the opening of the beak, put an insect in it and, in the literal sense of the word, with a finger, best of all with the little finger, push it into the very throat. Only in this case the chick will swallow an insect!

Do not be afraid, the chick, thus, will not choke. In the nest, they themselves open their mouth as wide as possible, and their parents lay their food right down the throat. After all, birds can't chew food like you and me.

On the first day the chick stays in the house, it must be fed every one to three hours. Between sessions of feeding you need to give the chick with a pipette water one by one - two drops. The main liquid they get with insects.

The diet of your nestling swift should consist ONLY of flies, mosquitoes, butterflies, spiders! That is, only from those insects that Swifts can catch in the air or find, clinging to the wall of the house. But it is impossible to feed the swifts with the ladybirds.

It is best to feed them flies.

In no case should other products be given to swamp chicks - grains, cereals, cereals, milk, meat (raw and boiled), boiled eggs, cottage cheese, daphnias, fishing worms, ladybugs, fly larvae.

The swifts' stomach is not capable of grinding grains, as do pigeons, for example. For meat, they do not have the necessary enzyme. Also, the meat may contain a parasite, against which the swifts have no immunity at all. Infection will lead to one hundred percent death of the bird. The remaining products, which are not characteristic of the adult ration, simply clog the stomach and the chick will die.

"Nest" can be equipped in a small box. Put cat litter on the bottom. It is desirable if direct light does not penetrate the box. In nature, swifts of the first 40 days are in eternal twilight.

How does the hatched chick feed? Within three days, the chick should recover and already actively respond to feeding. Over the next one to three weeks, he will begin to squeak softly. This does not mean that he is hungry. The feeding regimen during the day is every three to five hours.

The amount of food consumed during one feeding session will be regulated by the chick itself. On average, at this age he will need from 80 to 120 flies per day. When fishing you should try not to kill, but to stun flies. Collected "food" should be stored in the refrigerator. Then the flies will be alive, there will be no rotting, but they will be in anabiosis.

This way of storing food is the best.

Starting from the second half of July (I picked up the chick in mid-June), I introduced zoological bushes to his diet. Sold in any pet store. For feeding, they should be divided into two or three parts. Zoological buses are very nutritious worms, because one worm in one feeding session.

Now, until the end of August, the swift will grow its feathers. The nestling will be ready for departure when the wings are longer than the tail and the tips are crossed. A few days before departure, the swift will begin to refuse food. The crossing of the wings and the refusal of food are clear signs that the bird is ready to fly to freedom.