Swift - Apus apus


The Swift is a medium-sized aerial bird, which is a superb flier. It evens sleeps on the wing! It is plain sooty brown, but in flight against the sky it appears black. It has long, scythe-like wings and a short, forked tail.

Identification difficulty

Look up in the sky in summer, often very high. They never perch on wires like Swallows. You might see excited screaming parties of them careering madly at high speed around rooftops and houses, often low, especially towards dusk.

When to see it

April to August.

Life History

They eat flying insects and only land when nesting. 

UK Status

It is a summer visitor, breeding across the UK, but most numerously in the south and east. It winters in Africa. 

VC55 Status

A common summer visitor and breeding bird in Leicestershire and Rutland ...

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map