Chimney Swift

Photo by Greg Harber

In Alabama during: Spring | Summer

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Chaetura pelagica

STATUS: Breeder. Common in spring, summer, and fall in all regions. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

DESCRIPTION: Chimney swifts, Chaetura pelagica, are generally 4 _ to 5 _ inches long. They are an all dark charcoal grey color above and slightly paler color underneath. Many people describe them flying as a cigar with wings. It has long, narrow, pointed wings and a thick short body. The tail is very short with spiny tips. Its flight is similar to that of a bat, with the wings appearing as though they beat alternately rather than in unison. This illusion is the result in part from the frequent flying patterns of banking and turning. The call of this species is a loud chippering.

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