In general, chimney swifts are a dark grayish to brownish-gray, sooty color. Males and females look alike. The tail has stiff bristle-like or spiny feather tips (Palmer and Fowler, 1975; Whittemore, 1981). There may be as many as seven tail spines (Chantler and Driessens, 2000). They have been described as resembling a "flying cigar" (Palmer and Fowler, 1975). Chimney swifts have large eyes. They weigh 21.33 g on average. Wing length averages 130.4 mm and tail length averages 39.1 mm (Chantler and Driessens, 2000). (Chantler and Driessens, 2000; Palmer and Fowler, 1975; Whittemore, 1981)
- Chantler, P., G. Driessens. 2000. Swifts: A Guide to the Swifts and Treeswifts of the World, 2nd. ed. Sussex: Pica Press.
- Palmer, E., H. Fowler. 1975. Fieldbook of Natural History, 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc.
- Whittemore, M. 1981. Chimney Swifts and Their Relatives. Jackson, MS: Nature Books Publishers.