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Common Swift

Apus apus

 The common swift is a skilled flyer. Photo Christer Hangelin.

General information. Despite of the common swifts’ similarities with the barn swallow and house martin, it is completely unrelated. Swifts are ranked in an entirely separate order of bird taxonomy. The common swift is an insectivore, having adapted well to spending a majority of their lifespan airborne. They are exceptional flyers and can reach speeds of over 100 km/h.

  • Length 18 cm
  • Nests in cavities of buildings, woodpecker holes and nest boxes
  • Migratory species. Winters in Africa
  • Feeds on flying insects

Habitat. The common swift is primarily a cultural landscape bird. They thrive in city centers, industrial areas and docks, being also found nesting in the countryside, starling nest boxes and grain silos. A small minority of the species nests in woodland areas, usually in old woodpecker holes.

Distribution in Vaasa. Observations indicating nesting were made in approximately 130 survey blocks. The majority of observations occurred in built up areas. It is absent from the archipelago and farmlands in Söderfjärden.