15 July 2015

Erratic flight

Beautiful chimney swift paintings © Barry Kent MacKay

A bird best identified by silhouette, the smudge-gray chimney swift nimbly maneuvers over rooftops, fields, and rivers to catch insects.

It can be distinguished by its telltale acrobatic and erratic flight pattern.

Its tiny body, curving wings, and stiff, shallow wingbeats give it a flight style as distinctive as its fluid, chattering call.

This enigmatic little bird spends almost its entire life airborne. When it lands, it can’t perch—it clings to vertical walls inside chimneys or in hollow trees or caves.

This species has suffered sharp declines as chimneys fall into disuse across the continent.

Like smoke going back to chimney.