Skip to main content
  1. Species/

Chaetura pelagica

Common Name: Chimney Swift
Chaetura pelagica
Chaetura pelagica

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Apodiformes
Family: Apodidae
Genus: Chaetura
Species: Chaetura pelagica

Conservation Status

Identifying Features

Chimney swifts are 5" long with a 14" wingspan. They are dark gray in color.

Habitat & Range

Chimney swifts breeding range reaches across the eastern half of the United States and some of southeastern Canada. They spend the winter in South America.


These birds spend much of their time flying. They will fly above feilds and in towns catching insects. They do not perch, and instead will cling to the sides of natural or man-made objects.

Their call is a hard, rapid chirp.

Life Cycle

Chimney swifts are seen in the Finger Lakes Region from April through October. During this time they will raise either 1 or 2 clutches of young, with up to 5 per clutch.

Featured image by Jim McCulloch.


Archilochus colubris
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Accipiter striatus
Sharp-Shinned Hawk
Aix sponsa
Wood Duck