The Swift is sooty brown all over, but against the sky it appears black. It has long, scythe-like wings and a short, forked tail. It’s also impossible to see them land – their nesting places are hidden away in roofs and they fly in and out very quickly. Swifts are very unusual in terms of their length of life – some Swifts can live up to 21 years!
You might see screaming parties of them careering madly at high speed around rooftops and houses, mainly in towns and cities, especially towards dusk. The Swift is a superb flier. They spend almost the whole of their life on the wing. They land only to breed and even sleep on the wing! They are easiest to observe in built-up areas where they have their nests in the cracks, air holes and sometimes specially provided nest boxes.
How to recognize swift from swallow? Swift is bigger than Swallow. Its wings are narrower but much longer and have falcate shape. You could mistake it for Swallow but Swifts don’t bend their wings while flying. They never perch like Swallows. Swift’s tail is wider and shorter. Remember that Swifts are very common in the city, while rather hard to spot in the countryside.
What do they eat? Swifts find feed only in flight. They eat insects flying or soaring in the air. In rare instances they can catch insects from leafs especially in windy weather.
Swift’s nests Swifts’ nests can be found in interstices of rocks and dwelling buildings, under tile and slate, in waterside cliffs and in hollows. Nests are cup-shaped. To build them Swifts use plumes, downs, straws, dead leafs and rubbish. They paste up collected materials by spittle. Swifts breed in colonies by groups or pairs.
Wintering Swifts spend the winter in the east and in the south part of Africa.
Distribution of Swifts in Uzbekistan You can meet swift everywhere in Uzbekistan. It inhabits mountain landscapes, river valleys, oasis and cities. Number of swifts decreases visibly in some years. This can be caused by cold snap with snowfall. During long fall of temperature general death can happen.