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Chimney Swift

From Bloomingpedia

The Chimney Swift is a species of bird. It is classified in the family Apodidae, and their scientific name is Chaetura pelagica.


Chimney Swifts are small and long-winged. Though their feathers are brown-gray in color, the birds themselves often appear all black when flying high in the sky. When seen at close range, their blunt head, short beak, and pointed wings are noticeable.


In the Bloomington area, Chimney Swifts can often be seen flying over the Indiana University Bloomington campus or nearby streets and buildings, catching such insects as flies and mosquitoes. (They are strictly a summer resident, going to South America in the fall.) They may be heard before they are seen, twittering sharply as they fly overhead. When they are seen, their fluttering flight, often with abrupt swoops and changes in direction, is also distinctive.

In the evening, they may be seen flying into chimneys in town to roost for the night, hence their common name. One large chimney that was formerly a popular roost for swifts was part of the old Fairview Elementary school. When the building was torn down, several groups of people got together and raised funds to build a new "Swift Tower" for the birds, and as many as 300 birds have been seen at the new tower.

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