Comments: HABITAT CHANGE: In Texas, construction of homes without fireplaces and the screening of chimneys is thought to have slowed the expansion of the swift within the state (Oberholser 1974). Chimney screening and demolition of buildings (businesses, homes, silos) historically used for nesting/roosting can eliminate important habitat. The loss of historic roosts used by 1000s of individuals during fall migration could be devastating if alternate sites are unavailable. The surface of metal flue pipe emplaced within newly-constructed chimneys is too smooth for swifts to cling to, resulting in the entrapment and death of birds. PREDATION: Confirmed predators of adults include Mississippi Kites (Ictinia mississippiensis; Bolen and Flores 1993) and Sharp-shinned Hawks (Accipiter striatus; Bent 1940); nestlings are preyed upon by Rat Snakes (Elaphe obsoleta; Cink 1990). OTHER: Large flocks roosting in chimneys are sometimes accidentally killed. Between 3000 and 5000 swifts were killed in October in a chimney in Quincy, Illinois when the heat was turned on due to unseasonably cold weather (Bent 1940). Prolonged periods of wet, cold weather during the spring, which decrease flying insect abundance, can result in starvation (Bent 1940). Birds sometimes also starve during migration (Spendelow 1985). Threats on the wintering grounds are unknown.
No one has provided updates yet.