Kingdom Animalia
Click to hear the call  Click to watch the video
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Apodiformes
Family Apodidae
Genus Apus
Species apus
Classification Linnaeus, 1758
Common name common swift
Size 16 - 17 centimeters
Wing Span 42 - 48 centimeters
Male weight 36 - 45 grams

Geographic Range the breeding area goes from northern Mediterranean to Scotland, Norway, and Kola peninsula. It reproduces in north-western Africa and in some places in the Middle East. It usually spends winter in sub-Saharan Africa.
Physical Characteristics the plumage is black, wings are long and thin. It keeps wings back in a horseshoe-like shape. It keeps wings in this position even during its low and fast flight. The tail is furcate. The male and the female look a lot like each other. The plumage of the adult is very dark brown, while the throat and the chin are pale. Young look quite different from the adults: their throat is paler and the feathers of the upper part of the body are white bordered.
Behaviour the common swift hunts insects while flying, slowing down the speed of the flight, often together with other swallows.
Habitat towns, villages, ruins, countryside.
Flight it flies with frantic beats of the wings followed by glides against the wind. Paws are so short that that they cannot land; if they land, they cannot fly up anymore. As a consequence they almost always fly. They even mate and sometimes sleep while flying.
Food habits they eat insects caught while they are flying, even at a 1000 meters altitude.
Migration it arrives to our latitudes towards the end of April and leaves for hotter areas, like Africa, at the end of August.
Nidification the nest is built with feathers and vegetal material bound with saliva. It is placed on chimneys, in crevices, under roofs. The female usually lays in June 2 or 3 eggs, which are looked after by both parents. Incubation lasts about 20 days and the young remain in the nest for at least 6 weeks. Towards the end of July the young are fledged and they learn how to fly very quickly and how to move in the air.

References Oiseaux.net
Web References http://www.oiseaux.net/
Source of the photo http://www.chez.com/pdubois/Oiseaux/ApusApus.html
Source of the call http://swift.utigges.il.eu.org/
Source of the video http://www.rspb.org.uk/

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