Chimney Swifts are dark colored, swallow-like birds that spend most of their time in-flight. When not flying, they have feet and legs that are uniquely adapted to clinging to the sides of rough surfaces, such as dead trees, cliffs, or your chimney! This adaptation also makes it impossible for them to take off from the ground, so if you see a Chimney Swift on the ground, contact a local wildlife rehabber as the Chimney Swift is in trouble.
These migratory birds return to our area in mid-to late spring and use a glue-like saliva to glue their nests to the side of chimneys, cliffs, or inside dead trees. Both parents assist with raising young and may have a non-breeding “helper” who happens to share the roosting site. Young birds take their first flight at around 28-30 days.
Unfortunately, these birds have seen population decline in recent years due to changes in chimney design and use, and habitat loss. However, there are plans that can be found online for building a Chimney Swift tower if you are interested in providing a safe space for them in your area.