Alert Status: Amber - 58% decline
Identifying Features: The swift is an aerial bird, plain sooty brown, but in flight against the sky it appears black. It has long, scythe-like wings and a short, forked tail.
Average Length: 16-18 cm
Average Lifespan: 9 years
Average Wingspan: 42-48 cm
Beak type: Flat and wide
Natural: They feed exclusively on insects and spiders caught on the wing.
Nesting: Swifts nest in holes - often inside old buildings or sometimes in specially-designed swift nestboxes - so you'll never see them building a nest outside. The nest is made from grasses, leaves, and feathers - all collected while flying - and bonded together with saliva. Breeding is the only time Swifts stop flying; their entire lives are spent in the air.
Where to see: Look up in the sky in summer, often very high. They never perch on wires like swallows. You might see parties of them careering madly at high speed around rooftops and houses, often low, especially towards dusk.