Posted by: atowhee | April 27, 2023


This bird is less than five inches long, but it flies with great speed and elegance. Its wing bones are quite short, but the wing feathers are relatively long. Its beak is small, its mouth much wider. It has one of the bird world’s most apt name–swift. I now feel fully spring-loaded–I saw a pair circling high over our home about 6Pm this evening. hundreds of feet up but their curving path and flutter-glide pattern, cycle-shaped wingspan, all easy to read from my humble earthbound location.

Most telling of its longs and shorts: it doesn’t spend much time here in North America–must have flying insects. It hands out in chimney or hollow tree for brief periods. The rest of its days are spent in slight. Modern tech informs us that many swift species spend 7 to 10 months in flight–never still. They can’t perch, only hang like bats. When flying for months, half the swifts brain and body sleep while the other half flies.

Switfs may feed higher in the air than any other birds.

Our locals are America’s smallest swift–Vaux’s. Our winter in Central America while some non-migratory Vaux’s nest as far south as Venezuela.



  1. We had a whole week of Vaux’s Swifts on South Oakdale in Medford last week.

  2. We had Vaux Swifts every night last week on South Oakdale in Medford:

  3. Sorry for the double comment. Here’s a second video from another night that shows some amazing aeronautics:

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