Caught by the River

Matt's Bird of the Week – Swift

Matt Sewell | 19th August 2011

Swift (Apus apus). Words & picture by Matt Sewell.

Summer is coming to a close and sadly the swifts have just about all departed and the skies don’t look the same anymore. The swift is a bird built for one purpose only, to fly. Like a bow that took flight with the arrow, he is a permanent fixture screaming through our summer skies. Even though he’s often mistaken for a Swallow or Martin, the Swift isn’t even in the same family, but is in fact more closely related to Hummingbirds and another curiosity, the Nightjar. The Swift is a strange one as he’s unlike so many other birds. Strange facts surround him, such as he spends more time in the air then any other bird, he feeds and drinks exclusively in the air, he collects his nesting materials whilst in flight and he bathes, mates and sleeps whilst on the wing. Another myth is that the Swift doesn’t have feet, that one isn’t true, he just has short legs.

Matt Sewell bird badges are now on sale in the Caught by the River shop.

Click here to see previous birds of the week.