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Dieren en planten

Swallows   Sand martin   Common Swift   House Martin   Other birds   
  • Dut: Gierzwaluw
  • Eng: Swift
  • Fre: Martinet noir
  • Ger: Mauersegler
  • Ital: Rondone
  • Lat: Apus apus
Common swift, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

Common Swift

There is no other bird that can fly as well as the common swift. It even flies while sleeping. Common swifts make a high screeching sound and catch insects in flight. Although they have many resemblances to swallows, they are not related. In totally natural situations, they build their nests on rocks. However, due to a lack of rocky mountains in this country, they are contented with buildings, nesting mostly under the eaves. Therefore, it is no wonder that common swifts only breed in cities and villages with old buildings. Renovations and new buildings usually offer few nesting opportunities for common swifts.

On Texel


common swifts, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

There are often groups of common swifts observed hunting in the summer above the Horsmeertjes. These birds fly over from Den Helder. For them, crossing the Marsdiep is trivial. Common swifts look for their food up to tens of kilometers from their nest.

  • Housing
    Common swifts, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

    You can help common swifts find a suitable home by ordering special roofing tiles and bird houses from the Dutch Bird Society.

  • Distribution and habitat

    Common swifts spend most of their time in Africa. They only arrive in the Netherlands in late April, early May and depart in mid-summer. The Netherlands is home for around 60,000 nesting pairs.