Swift Bird

General Information

Swifts are very interesting birds because they are some of the fastest-flying birds on the planet. Spotting a swift in flight is a pleasure to see. There are many different species of Swifts in the world.

Here is a list of different species of Swifts:

Swift Tern
Swift Parrot
Crested Treeswift
Grey-rumped Treeswift
Whiskered Treeswift
Moustached Treeswift
Spot-fronted Swift
White-chinned Swift
White-fronted Swift
Sooty Swift
Rothschild's Swift
American Black Swift
White-chested Swift
Great Dusky Swift
Tepui Swift
White-collared Swift
Biscutate Swift
White-naped Swift
Giant Swiftlet
Glossy Swiftlet
Cave Swiftlet
Bornean Swiftlet
Pygmy Swiftlet
Seychelles Swiftlet
Mascarene Swiftlet
Indian Swiftlet
Philippine Swiftlet
Halmahera Swiftlet
Sulawesi Swiftlet
Seram Swiftlet
Mountain Swiftlet
White-rumped Swiftlet
Australian Swiftlet
Himalayan Swiftlet
Volcano Swiftlet
Whitehead's Swiftlet
Bare-legged Swiftlet
Mayr's Swiftlet
Mossy-nest Swiftlet
Uniform Swiftlet
Palau Swiftlet
Mariana Swiftlet
Island Swiftlet
Tahiti Swiftlet
Atiu Swiftlet
Marquesan Swiftlet
Black-nest Swiftlet
Edible-nest Swiftlet
Germain's Swiftlet
Three-toed Swiftlet
Scarce Swift
Schouteden's Swift
Philippine Spine-tailed Swift
Papuan Spine-tailed Swift
Lesser Antillean Swift
Band-rumped Swift
Costa Rican Swift
Pale-rumped Swift
Grey-rumped Swift
Vaux's Swift
Sick's Swift
Chimney Swift
Chapman's Swift
Mato Grosso Swift
Short-tailed Swift
White-throated Swift
White-tipped Swift
Andean Swift
Antillean Palm Swift
Pygmy Palm Swift
Neotropical Palm Swift
Great Swallow-tailed Swift
Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift
African Palm Swift
Asian Palm Swift
Alpine Swift
Mottled Swift
Cape Verde Swift
Common Swift
Plain Swift
Nyanza Swift
Pallid Swift
African Black Swift
Malagasy Black Swift
Fernando Po Swift
Forbes-Watson's Swift
Bradfield's Swift
Fork-tailed Swift
Dark-rumped Swift
Little Swift
House Swift
Horus Swift
White-rumped Swift
Bates's Swift
Swift Bird

Recognizable Characteristics

Many different types of Swifts have a characteristic shape. These birds tend to have a short forked tail, very long swept-back wings that are in a very similar shape of a boomerang.

Migration Pattern

Swifts are highly migratory birds that resemble swallows in appearance. One of the best ways to tell a Swift apart from a Swallow is their flying pattern. Swifts tend to have flight characterized by a unique flicking action quite different from swallows. Swifts are known for their ability to fly very fast. They are among the fastest flying birds in the world, with many types of these birds able to fly at over 100 miles per hour for short bursts when they need extra speed.

During the Winter, Swifts tend to migrate to more tropical environments, so if you want to catch them in California or the Bay Area you have to time a visit to the outdoor areas where you want to spot them. Winter is a good time to spot these birds along the Pacific Coast.

Swifts tend to live and nest near waterfalls. One good time to spot Swifts in California is during their migration period, which ranges from approximately May to early to late Fall when large numbers of them fly north. Swifts have been spotted in Northern California near the city of Healdsburg in Sonoma area. They have been spotted in very large numbers before near Lake Sonoma.

Beak or Bill



These are some of the speediest birds in the world.




Difference in Males and Females

Other Information

Swifts tend to be spotted more often in areas with old growth forests rather than new growth forests. Swifts can be found in many different parts of California Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, and Sonoma areas. Swifts tend to live where they can nest easily. To nest, they need large, hollow live trees and snags and man-made chimneys. In Northern California, these birds tend to live along the cost from as far north as Del Norte County to Santa Cruz County. The birds are difficult to spot because they are not densely populated and fly fast and far to find food.

Songs and Calls



Swift Bird Photo

Ostrich Photo