Chimney Swift

In Arkansas, as well as many other states, the chittering of swifts is a common spring/summer sound.  These birds dance here and there above our heads, catching insects in flight.  They will never visit your feeder, but will frequent the airspace above your yard and may even utilize your house, depending on your chimney situation.

These small “cigars with wings” never sit still, as they fly throughout the day.  They like to nest communally in vertical cavities.  Historically, some of the best vertical cavities have been chimneys, where they will often nest.  There territories are very small, as with most communal birds, so several can build ledge-like nests in one chimney.  They eat many flying insects and are an effective biological controller of mosquitoes.  They will make strafing flights, catching food and making mid-air displays.

Although, they don’t eat birdseed, you can attract a colony to your yard by creating a swift tower.  Of all the things we humans can offer backyard birds, this is probably the most expensive and/or hands-on project.  However, it can apparently be very rewarding to see hordes of swifts piling into your swift tower at dusk.