Chimney Swift

About the Chimney Swift

Also known as: Spine-tail

Chimney Swifts are small migratory swifts that breed in eastern North America and winter in northwestern South America. Males and females look alike: sooty dark bodies with paler feathers at the throat, breast, and under the wings.

Chimney Swifts are highly aerial; they are in flight almost constantly, except for nesting or roosting. They even bathe on the wing!

Because of their body shape, Chimney Swifts are sometimes called "flying cigars." They are highly gregarious and form huge flocks prior to and during migration.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 29 September 2011
Scientific Name
Chaetura pelagica
  • Apodiformes
  • Apodidae
  • Chaetura
  • C. pelagica
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Near Threatened (as of 6 April 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
5.25 inches
14 inches
.81 ounces



From IUCN Red List:
The Chimney Swift is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2012 by BirdLife International. This species is classified as Near Threatened as survey data has demonstrated that it has undergone a moderately rapid population decline due to loss of nesting habitat. However, trends for three-generation periods ending in 2006, 2007 and 2009 have reached 32%, 31% and 30% respectively, and should these rates of declines continue, the species may be uplisted to Vulnerable.

International Names

Brazilian (Português brasileiro) Andorinhão-migrante
Czech (Cesky) rorýs ostnitý
Danish (Dansk) Skorstenssejler
Dutch (Nederlands) Schoorsteengierzwaluw
Finnish (Suomi) piippukiitäjä
French (Français) Martinet ramoneur
German (Deutsch) Schornsteinsegler
Italian (Italiano) Rondone codaspinosa dei camini
Japanese (日本語) エントツアマツバメ [entotsuharioamatsubame]
Norwegian (Norsk) Skorsteinsseiler
Polish (Polski) Komniarczyk amerykański
Russian (русский язык) Иглохвост печной
Spanish (Español) Vencejo de Chimenea
Swedish (Svenska) Skorstensseglare
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