Birds of the Bible – Swift

“Even the stork in the heavens Knows her appointed times; And the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow Observe the time of their coming. But My people do not know the judgment of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 NKJV)

While working on an “Interesting Things – Chimney Swifts” blog, I discovered that I had not done the “Birds of the Bible” about the Swallow or the Swift (translated in the NKJV and the NASB as “swift”). So, here is the first one on the Swift and the Swallow will follow soon. The Chimney Swift is now part of this one. I originally thought I had been through all the “Birds of the Bible” at least once. Fortunately, even though I may have forgotten them, the Lord never forgets his created critters.

Swifts from PPeterson Field Guide to Western Birds

Swifts from Peterson Field Guide to Western Birds

During the Birding Festival last week, the Chimney Swift was mentioned as a bird that is always flying. That peaked my interest and started investigating it. Creation Moments did an article about it called “A Bird Always in Flight.

The swifts are small aerial birds, spending the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings that resemble a crescent or a boomerang. They are often described as a “flying cigar.” They belong to the Order – Apodiformes – Family Apodidae.  Many think that Swifts and Swallows are in the same family, but the Swift is related closer to the Hummingbird. “Swift” comes from the Greek apous which means “without feet.”  They all have feet, but prefer to land on a vertical surface like a chimney, clift, or bank.  Most of the Swifts travel in groups eating insects, flying most of the time – landing only to roost at night or for nesting. Their call is described as a chatter, twitter, or similar sound.”A group of swifts are collectively known as a “box”, “flock”, “screaming frenzy”, and “swoop” of swifts.” (from, as are the following links)

Our North American Swifts are:
Chimney Swift is 5-6″ long with a wingspan of 11-12″ (When in a chimney they use their tail which has spines to help them stay put and they attach their nest using a saliva glue.)
Black Swift is 7-7.5″ with a wingspan of 15″
Common Swift is 6-7″ with a 16-19′ wingspan
Vaux’s Swift is 4′ with a wingspan of 11″ (the smallest North American Swift)
White-collard Swift is 8.75″ with a wingspan of 19-21
White-throated Swift is 6-7″, wingspan of 13-14″ (with a white throat)
White-throated Needletail (formerly Spine-tailed Swift) is 7.5-9″ with a 20″ wingspan

Articles and Sound from Cornell:

White-collared Swift from Wikipedia

White-collared Swift from Wikipedia

Chimney Swifts
Vaux’s Swift
White-throated Swift

Some Interesting Links:
For the Birds – Chimney Swifts
I Saw The Swifts


2 thoughts on “Birds of the Bible – Swift

  1. Hi,

    Are swifts common to Florida..particularly Miami/Coral Gables?

    Also, do they sometimes fly alone or in a disarrayed group rather than a V-formation?

    Thank you,



    • From what I can find out on the internet, the Chimney Swifts are seen in the Miami/Coral Gables area during their winter migration. I did not find that they fly in a V-formation. They do sleep while in the air.


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