Chimney Swift is another bird species which has both benefited, and
suffered, due to a human presence. Chimney Swifts were once dependent upon tree cavities for nesting.
However, introduced species, particularly the
House Sparrow and
European Starling, have greatly
increased competition for natural nesting cavities such as those previously
preferred by Chimney Swifts. However, Chimney Swifts have learned to use chimneys and other human construction for nesting, and
are now much more common over urban areas than they are over forested areas.
They use a sticky saliva to glue together twigs, which are pasted on a
vertical surface in a half-saucer shape. Large chimneys may house
hundreds of these birds, resulting in spectacular flocks forming overhead
in open skies above nearly any terrain. However, with the sharp reduction in
mature forests in the East and thus in tree cavity availability, they are now
most common over urban areas where they've learned to use buildings for nesting.
Diet: Feeds on flying insects.
Behavior: Forages by capturing insects while
in flight. Gregarious, often foraging (and roosting) in flocks.
Nesting: June and July
Migration: Summers throughout the eastern half of the United States and southern
Canada. Winters in eastern Peru and probably elsewhere in the Amazon
Conservation Status: Overall, has probably benefited from a
human presence, as the number of available nesting sites soared once they
learned to utilize chimneys.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Cnhimney Swift"
Photo Information: Photo taken on August 9th, 2012
- Minnehaha County, South Dakota - Terry Sohl