White-throated Swift

photo by Phil Swanson

Aeronautes saxatalis
L 6 1/2″ (17 cm).

Song or calls:
Prolonged series of grating “jee-jee-jee-jee-jee” notes.

Description: Sexes similar. Black above; black-and-white below; gray underwings; long forked tail. Stiff, fast wingbeats.

Behavior: Mate in flight, falling towards the earth in a free fall, and only separating when about to hit the ground.

Bird Map

Habitat: Steep cliffs and deep canyons. Nest in the inaccessible cracks and crevices.

Where in Nebraska: Locally common spring and fall migrant and summer resident in the Pine Ridge and Scottsbluff areas, and in the Wildcat Hills. Vagrants sometimes seen in the east.

Fun Facts: White-throated Swifts are highly social birds that roost in groups of hundreds, often entering the roost several birds at a time side by side.

White-throated Swift - photo by Phil Swanson White-throated Swift - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)