Common Swifts (Apus apus) have started their spring migration and there are some puzzles to solve about their behavior in Arab countries, the rest of the Middle East, the Russian Federation, and central, south and east Asia. If you live there, you can help us to solve these puzzles.
In central Europe Common Swifts arrive in four waves during spring and summer, and first observations in the Middle East suggest that they may do the same there.
In Europe the first wave of Common Swifts consists of single birds or small groups of three or a few more. These birds probably are not breeders, which arrive in the second wave of Swifts, 12 – 14 days later. The much heavier third wave, also of breeders, arrives about two or three days after the second wave. About four to six weeks after that, the fourth wave arrives, and birds in this final wave are again non-breeders. By now the skies are really crowded with Common Swifts!
This is the pattern in central Europe and this survey is to find out how Swifts behave elsewhere.
Please report all your observations and be as precise as possible when you answer the following questions:
1. Where did you make your observation (if you are in a smaller place, please add the nearest city and district)?
2. What was the date and hour?
3. How many Common Swifts (Apus apus) did you see?
4. What were the Swifts doing? (For example: circling, chasing each other, screaming, disappearing under the eaves of houses, into trees, nestboxes, etc.
Please make reports only when you are sure that you found the Common Swift (Apus apus). Except in northern Europe and northwest Asia, there are several other species of swifts and confusion with one of these would ruin the whole survey.
If you have questions or need help, please e-mail me for support.
Please send your observations by e-mail to this address . Please give your name so that we can acknowledge you when the survey is published.
Thank you all and happy spotting!
On this map the heavy black line shows the range of the Common Swift (Apus apus). If you live in this area, please watch out for this bird and report your observations.