|Conservation status||After this species started adapting to nesting in chimneys, their number started to increase greatly. They became much more readily available with the offering of a home in a chimney than just having a hollow tree available. With the population being so high, they can now be found most commonly; over towns and cities, with nearby forests that contain hollow trees that would be large enough to serve as nest sites.|
|Habitat||Their habitat consists of open skies, especially over towns and cities. They will forage anywhere that has flying insects, over any kind of terrain. They are now found commonly over cities, that have large hollow trees within range. This is due to the large hollow trunks of tree serving as nesting sites. They often use chimneys in the same manner.|
The Chimney Swift is the only regularly occurring Swift in the East. While it's natural nesting element is hollow trees, it is more commonly found to next in the structures of chimneys. Due to the fact that it is easily captured, and banded in these situations, it has been studied more than other Swifts located in North America. During the late Summer months, upwards of thousands of individual swifts may roost in one large chimney, which in turn, creates a mesmerizing spectacle as they gather, and flock overhead, during dusk. This is usually due to a high concentration of food(insects) flying about.
The Swift is an advantageous hunter that uses it's speed to scoop insects out of the air, as it flies by. They generally forage high in the air, but can also be seen lower towards the ground during wet weather. They also forage in flocks of small numbers as well.
They generally lay three to six eggs that are white in color. Both male, and female will incubate the eggs for nineteen to twenty-one days. When the hatchlings are young, both parents will feed them by regurgitating insects. Near the twenty day mark, the Young will climb out of the nest, and start exploring the vertical walls around them. They usually will take their first flight at the age of twenty eighty to thirty days old.
Both parents feed young, by regurgitating insects. Young may climb out of nest after about 20 days, creeping up vertical walls. Age of young at first flight about 28-30 days.
These Swifts feast on a wide variety of flying insects, such as: beetles, flies, true bugs, and moths. They will also eat spiders. They will also concentrate on swarming insects like winged adult ants, as they emerge from their nests.
Courtship involves aerial displays; in one display, two birds fly close together, one following the other, both gliding with wings held up in V. Breeding pair is often assisted by an extra adult "helper." Nest site is inside a chimney or similar hollow tower, usually well down from opening, in a well-shaded area. Originally nested (and sometimes still does) inside large hollow trees. Nest (built by both sexes) is shaped like half a saucer, made of twigs glued together with the birds' saliva. Adults break off short dead twigs while zooming past in flight.
We encourage you to consult with your local CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep if you believe Swifts, or any animal for that matter, have taken up residence in your chimney. Once the proper professionals have relocated the animals, your certified sweep can install a chimney cap to help prevent future critter visits.
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