Swifts are insectivores belonging to the Apodidae family. They are often confused with swallows & martins but there is no genetic link between them – in fact they are most closely related to hummingbirds.

There are 96 species of swift in the world. They all have an aerodynamic shape with long, sickle-shaped wings &are amongst the fastest of all birds with supreme flying ability.

Some are migratory such as the Common Swift (present in Europe, Africa & some parts of Asia) and the Chimney Swift (present in North & South America).

Others are sedentary such as the African Palm Swift, or the Schouteden Swift that is found in the Congo.

Several species have been studied for many years and various groups are working to protect them.

However there are others of which very little is known.

We hope that World Swift Day will encourage greater understanding of these incredible birds and hence help with their protection.

The internet is full of incorrect information concerning swifts, even for those species that have been studied extensively.

Here are links towards trusted sites that give good, reliable information:

Swift species in the world.

Here in this Wikipedia article are listed the various swift species found in the world.

Common Swift (Apus apus)

The blog «  Martine(t)News » has published a list of reliable information about the Common Swift  (behavior, distribution, ways to help etc.)

To consult this click here.

Click here for a list of short videos that show a wide range of behaviour plus links to webcams that, during the nesting season, allow an intimate view of the swift’s family life.

Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)

Information on this American species, including useful contacts, will be found by clicking here.
FR: vidéo sur le Martinet ramoneur (par QuébecOiseaux).

Other species

(Under construction: You will soon find here useful links about the other Swift species)

Jane Goodall makes a plea for Swifts

For the last few years swifts have been fortunate to have the support of Jane Goodall. Here is her message inciting us to care for them: English version – English version with French subtitles.