|Flying in Texas, United States|
|Range of chimney swift Breeding range Wintering range|
The chimney swift (Chaetura pelagica) is a bird belonging to the swift family Apodidae. A member of the genus Chaetura, it is closely related to both the Vaux's swift and the Chapman's swift; in the past, the three were sometimes considered to be conspecific. It has no subspecies. The chimney swift is a medium-sized, sooty gray bird with very long, slender wings and very short legs. Like all swifts, it is incapable of perching, and can only cling vertically to surfaces.
The chimney swift feeds primarily on flying insects, but also on airborne spiders. It generally mates for life. It builds a bracket nest of twigs and saliva stuck to a vertical surface, which is almost always a human-built structure, typically a chimney. The female lays 4–5 white eggs. The altricial young hatch after 19 days and fledge a month later. The average chimney swift lives 4.6 years.
Taxonomy and systematics
When Carl Linnaeus first described the chimney swift in 1758, he named it Hirundo pelagica, believing it to be a swallow. This misconception continued well into the 1800s, with ornithologists calling it "American Swallow" (e.g. Mark Catesby) or "Chimney Swallow" (e.g. John James Audubon). In 1825, James Francis Stephens moved this and other small, short-tailed New World swifts to the genus Chaetura, where it has since remained, although some authorities in the 1800s assigned it to a variety of now obsolete genera. It has no subspecies. The chimney swift's closest relative is Vaux's swift. Scientists believe that the two species evolved from a common ancestor that was forced to North America's southeastern and southwestern corners by glacial advances. Separated for millennia by vast ice sheets, the survivors evolved into two species which are still separated by a wide gap across the continent's midsection. It is also closely related to the Chapman's swift; in the past, the three were sometimes treated as a single species.
The chimney swift's genus name, Chaetura, is a combination of two Ancient Greek words: chaite, which means "bristle" or "spine", and oura which means "tail". This is an apt description of the bird's tail, as the shafts of all ten tail feathers (rectrices) end in sharp, protruding points. The specific name pelagica is derived from the Greek word pelagikos, which means "of the sea". This is thought to be a reference to its nomadic lifestyle rather than to any reference to the sea, a theory strengthened by the later assignment of the specific name pelasgia (after the nomadic Pelasgi tribe of ancient Greece) to the same species by other ornithologists. Its common name refers to its preferred nesting site and its speedy flight.
This is a medium-sized swift, measuring from 12 to 15 cm (4.7 to 5.9 in) in length,[nb 1] with a wingspan of 27 to 30 cm (11 to 12 in) and a weight ranging from 17 to 30 g (0.60 to 1.06 oz). The sexes are identical in plumage, though males average slightly heavier than females. The adult's plumage is a dark sooty olive above and grayish brown below, with a slightly paler rump and uppertail covert feathers, and a significantly paler throat. Its upperparts are the most uniformly colored of all the Chaetura swifts, showing little contrast between back and rump. Its beak is black, as are its feet and legs. Its iris is dark brown. Juvenal plumage (that held by juvenile birds) is very similar to that of adults, but with whitish tips to the outer webs of the secondaries and tertials.
The chimney swift's wings are slender, curved and long, extending as much as 1.5 in (3.8 cm) beyond the bird's tail when folded. Its wingtips are pointed, which helps to decrease air turbulence (and therefore drag) during flight. Its humerus (the bone in the inner part of the wing) is quite short, while the bones farther out (more distally) along the wing are elongated, a combination which allows the bird to flap very quickly. In flight, it holds its wings stiffly, alternating between rapid, quivering flaps and longer glides. Its flight profile is widely described as a "cigar with wings"—a description first used by Roger Tory Peterson. Although the bird often appears to beat its wings asynchronously during flight, photographic and stroboscopic studies have shown that it beats them in unison. The illusion that it does otherwise is heightened by its very fast and highly erratic flight, with many rapid changes of direction.
The legs of the chimney swift, like those of all swifts, are very short. Its feet are small but strong, with very short toes that are tipped with sharp, curved claws. The toes are anisodactyl—three forward, one back—like those of most birds, but the chimney swift can swivel its back toe (its hallux) forward to help it get a better grip. Unlike the legs and feet of most birds, those of the chimney swift have no scales; instead, they are covered with smooth skin.
Its tail is short and square, measuring only 4.8 to 5.5 cm (1.90 to 2.15 in) in length. All ten of its tail feathers have shafts which extend as much as 1.3 cm (0.5 in) beyond the vanes, ending in sharp, stiff points. These help the bird to prop itself against vertical surfaces.
The chimney swift has large, deep set eyes. These are protected by small patches of coarse, black, bristly feathers, which are located in front of each eye. The swift can change the angle of these feathers, which may help to reduce glare. It is far-sighted and, like some birds of prey, this swift is bifoveal: each eye having both a temporal and a central fovea.[nb 2] These are small depressions in the retina where visual acuity is highest, and help to make its vision especially acute. Like most vertebrates, it is able to focus both eyes at once; however, it is also able to focus a single eye independently.
Its bill is very small, with a culmen that measures a mere 5 mm (0.20 in) in length. However, its gape is huge, extending back below its eyes, and allowing the bird to open its mouth very widely. Unlike many insectivorous birds, it lacks rictal bristles at the base of the beak.
The chimney swift looks very much like the closely related Vaux's swift, but is slightly larger, with relatively longer wings and tail, slower wingbeats and a greater tendency to soar. It tends to be darker on the breast and rump than the Vaux's swift, though there is some overlap in plumage coloring. It can be as much as 30 percent heavier than Vaux's swift, and its wings, which are proportionately narrower, show a pronounced bulge in the inner secondaries. The chimney swift is smaller, paler and shorter tailed than the black swift. In Central America, it is most similar to Chapman's swift, but it is paler (matte olive rather than glossy black) and has a stronger contrast between its pale throat and the rest of its underparts than does its more uniformly colored relative.
Distribution and habitat
A widespread breeding visitor to much of the eastern half of the United States and the southern reaches of eastern Canada, the chimney swift migrates to South America for the winter. It is a rare summer visitor to the western U.S, and has been recorded as a vagrant in Anguilla, Barbados, Greenland, Jamaica, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is found over open country, savanna, wooded slopes and humid forests.
The chimney swift's wintering grounds were only discovered in 1944, when bands from birds banded (ringed) in North America were recovered in Peru. An indigenous Peruvian had been wearing the bands as a necklace.
The chimney swift is a gregarious species, and is seldom seen alone. It generally hunts in groups of two or three, migrates in loose flocks of 6–20, and (once the breeding season is over) sleeps in huge communal roosts of hundreds or thousands of birds. Like all swifts, it is a superb aerialist, and only rarely seen at rest. It drinks on the wing, skimming the surface of the water with its beak. It also bathes on the wing, gliding above the surface of a body of water, briefly smacking its breast into the water, then flying off again, shaking its feathers as it goes. It has been recorded by pilots flying more than a mile above the surface of the earth, including one seen at 7,300 ft (2,200 m). It is incapable of perching upright like most birds do; instead, it clings to vertical surfaces. If it is disturbed while at rest, the chimney swift will clap its wings loudly once or twice against its body; it does this either in place, or while dropping down several feet to a lower location. This behavior can result in a loud "thundering" sound if large roosts of the birds are disturbed. The sound is thought to be the bird's way of scaring away potential predators.
Like all swifts, the chimney swift forages on the wing. Studies have shown that 95 percent of its food items are flying insects, including various species of flies, ants, wasps, bees, whiteflies, aphids, scale insects, stoneflies and mayflies. It also eats airborne spiders drifting on their threads. It is an important predator of pest species such as the red imported fire ant and the clover root curculio. Researchers estimate that a pair of adults provisioning a nest with three youngsters consume the weight equivalent of at least 5000–6000 housefly-sized insects per day. Like many bird species, the chimney swift periodically coughs up pellets composed of indigestible bits of prey items.
During the breeding season, at least half of the chimney swift's forays occur within 0.5 km (0.3 mi) of its nest; however, it ranges up to 6 km (3.7 mi) away. While most of its food is seized following aerial pursuit, some is gleaned from the foliage of trees; the bird hovers near the ends of branches or drops through upper canopy levels. The chimney swift generally flies quite high, though it descends during cold or rainy weather. When feeding, it regularly occurs in small groups, and sometimes hunts with swallows, particularly barn swallows and purple martins; in mixed-species flocks, it is typically among the lower fliers. There is at least one record of a chimney swift attempting to steal a dragonfly from a purple martin, and it has been observed chasing other purple martins. In general, it is a diurnal feeder which remains active into early evening. However, there are records, particularly during migration periods, of chimney swifts feeding well after dark over brightly lit buildings.
The species shows two weight peaks each year: one at the start of the breeding season, and a higher one shortly before it begins its migration south in the autumn. Its lowest weights are typically recorded during the breeding season, when it also begins a complete molt of its plumage. The chimney swift's weight gain before migration is smaller than that of some passerines, suggesting that it must refuel en route at various stopover points.
The chimney swift is a monogamous breeder which normally mates for life, though a small percentage of birds change partners. Pairs perform display flights together, gliding with their wings upraised in a steep "V", and sometimes rocking from side to side. Breeding birds arrive as early as mid March in the southern U.S., and as late as mid-May in the Canadian provinces.
Before the arrival of European colonists into North America, the chimney swift nested in hollow trees; now, it uses human-built structures almost exclusively. While the occasional nest is still built in a hollow tree (or, exceptionally, in an abandoned woodpecker nest), most are now found in chimneys, with smaller numbers in airshafts, the dark corners of lightly used buildings, cisterns, or wells. The nest is a shallow bracket made of sticks, which the birds gather in flight, breaking them off trees. The sticks are glued together (and the nest to a vertical surface) with copious amounts of the bird's saliva. During the breeding season, each adult's salivary glands more than double in size, from 7 mm × 2 mm (0.276 in × 0.079 in) in the non-breeding season to 14 mm × 5 mm (0.55 in × 0.20 in) during the breeding season.
Unlike some swift species, which mate in flight, chimney swifts mate while clinging to a vertical surface near their nest. They copulate daily, until the clutch is complete. The female typically lays 4–5 eggs, though clutch sizes range from 2 to 7. The eggs, which are long and elliptical in shape, are moderately glossy, smooth and white, and measure 20 mm × 13 mm (0.79 in × 0.51 in). Each weighs nearly 10 percent of the female's body weight. Incubated by both parents, the eggs hatch after 19 days. Baby chimney swifts are altricial—naked, blind and helpless when they hatch. Fledglings leave the nest after a month.
The average chimney swift's life span is 4.6 years, but one is known to have lived more than 14 years. It was originally banded as an adult, and was recaptured in another banding operation some 12.5 years later.
Predators and parasites
Mississippi kites, peregrine falcons and merlins are raptors that are known to take adult chimney swifts in flight, being among the select few avian hunters fast enough to overtake the appropriately named swift on the wing. Eastern screech-owls have been seen attacking colonies, as have non-avian predators including eastern rat snakes, northern raccoons and tree squirrels. These are most likely to take nestlings but may take some nesting adults as well. When disturbed by potential predators (including humans) at the colony, adult chimney swifts slap their wings together after arching back and taking flight, making a very loud noise known either as "booming" or "thunder noises". When disturbed, nestlings make a loud, raspy raah, raah, raah sound. Both sounds seem designed to startle potential predators.
The chimney swift carries a number of internal and external parasites. It is the type host for the nematode species Aproctella nuda, the feather mite species Euchineustathia tricapitosetosa, and the biting lice species Dennyus dubius, and is also known to carry the tapeworm species Pseudochoanotaenia collocaliae. Its nest is known to host the Hemiptera species Cimexopsis nyctali, which is similar to the bed bug and can (on rare occasions) become a pest species in houses.
Calls of multiple birds in Iowa
Problems playing this file? See media help.
The chimney swift has a twittering call, consisting of a rapid series of hard, high-pitched chirps. It sometimes gives single chirps.
In 2010, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature changed the chimney swift's status from least concern to near threatened. In 2018, the IUCN changed the chimney swift's status from near threatened to vulnerable. Although the global population is estimated at 15 million, it has declined precipitously across the majority of its range. The causes of population declines are largely unclear, but may be related to the alteration of the insect community due to pesticide use in the early half of the 20th century. In Canada, they were listed as threatened by COSEWIC for several years with a likely future listing as a Schedule 1 species of the Species at Risk Act. In the U.S., the chimney swift is protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Neither birds nor nests can be removed from chimneys without a federally-issued permit. Populations may have increased historically with the introduction of chimneys to North America by European settlers, providing plentiful nesting opportunities.
After sudden temperature drops, the chimney swift sometimes hunts low over concrete roads (presumably following insect prey drawn to the warmer road), where collisions with vehicles become more likely. Severe storms, such as hurricanes, encountered during migration can seriously impact the chimney's swift's survival rates. Swifts caught up in 2005's Hurricane Wilma were swept as far north as Atlantic Canada and Western Europe. More than 700 were found dead. The following year, roost counts in the province of Quebec, Canada showed a decrease of 62 percent, and the overall population in the province was halved.
History of observation
In 1899, Mary Day of New Jersey observed a pair of chimney swifts nesting in a chimney, and noted the incubation period was 19 days. The first detailed study of chimney swifts began in 1915 by self-taught ornithologist Althea Sherman in Iowa. She commissioned a 28 foot tall tower, of a similar design to a chimney, with ladders and peep holes installed to facilitate observation. Chimney swifts nested in her tower, and for over fifteen years, she meticulously recorded her observations, filling over 400 pages. Sherman remarked that although the tower had been designed with a limited knowledge of the nesting behaviour of chimney swifts, after many years of observation she believed that the original design was ideal.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Chaetura pelagica". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Cory, Charles B. (March 1918). Publication 197: Catalogue of Birds of the Americas. 13, part 2. Chicago, IL, USA: Field Museum of Natural History. p. 137.
- Stephens / Macquart; Dipt. exot., Suppl. 4, 271 (ex Mém. Soc. Sci. Lille, 1850 (1851), 244).
- Feduccia, Alan, ed. (1999). Catesby's Birds of Colonial America. Chapel Hill, NC, USA: University of North Carolina Press. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-8078-4816-6.
- Audubon, John James (1840). The Birds of America, vol. 1. Philadelphia, PA, USA: J. B. Chevalier. p. 164.
- Ridgway, Robert; Friedmann, Herbert (1901). The birds of North and Middle America. Washington, D.C.: Government Publishing Office. pp. 714–719.
- Clements, James F.; Diamond, Jared; White, Anthony W.; Fitzpatrick, John W. (2007). The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World (6th ed.). Ithaca, NY, USA: Cornell University Press. p. 188. ISBN 978-0-8014-4501-9.
- Newton, Ian (2003). Speciation and Biogeography of Birds. London, UK: Academic Press. p. 296. ISBN 978-0-08-092499-1.
- Chantler (1999b), p. 443.
- Kyle & Kyle (2005), p. 15.
- Jobling, James A. (2010). Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London, UK: Christopher Helm. p. 295. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
- Dunne, Pete (2003). Pete Dunne on Bird Watching: The How-to, Where-to, and When-to of Birding. New York, NY, USA: Houghton Mifflin. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-395-90686-6.
- Fergus, Charles (2000). Wildlife of Pennsylvania and the Northeast. Mechanicsburg, PA, USA: Stackpole Books. p. 268. ISBN 978-0-8117-2899-7.
- Cramp, Stanley, ed. (1977). Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa: Birds of the Western Palearctic, Volume 1, Ostrich to Ducks. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-19-857358-6.
- "Chimney Swift". All about birds. Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- Johnston, David W. (March–April 1958). "Sex and Age Characters and Salivary Glands of the Chimney Swift" (PDF). The Condor. 60 (2): 73–84. doi:10.2307/1365265.
- Ridgely, Robert S.; Gwynne, John A. (1989). A Guide to the Birds of Panama: With Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras. Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press. p. 201. ISBN 978-0-691-02512-4.
- Chantler (1999a), p. 185.
- Barrows, Walter Bradford (1912). Michigan Bird Life. Lansing, MI, USA: MIchigan Agricultural College. p. 387.
- "Chimney Swift". National Geographic Society. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- Dunne, Pete (2006). Pete Dunne's Essential Field Companion. New York, NY, USA: Houghton, Mifflin. p. 351. ISBN 978-0-618-23648-0.
- Blanchan, Neltje (1903). Bird Neighbors. New York, NY, USA: Doubleday and McClure. p. 67. LCCN 04010747.
- Henderson, Carrol L.; Adams, Steve (2008). Birds in Flight: The Art and Science of How Birds Fly. Minneapolis, MN, USA: Voyageur Press. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-7603-3392-1.
- Collins, Charles T. (2001). "Swifts". In Elphick, Chris; Dunning Jr., John B.; Sibley, David. The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behaviour. London, UK: Christopher Helm. pp. 353–356. ISBN 978-0-7136-6250-4.
- Savile, D. B. O. (October 1950). "The Flight Mechanism of Swifts and Hummingbirds" (PDF). The Auk. 67 (4): 499–504. doi:10.2307/4081091.
- Coues, Elliott (1872). Key to North American Birds. Salem, MA, USA: Naturalists' Agency. p. 45. LCCN 06017833.
- Dunn, Jon L.; Alderfer, Johnathon, eds. (2006). National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America (5th ed.). Washington, DC, USA: National Geographic. p. 270. ISBN 978-0-7922-5314-3.
- Burton, Maurice; Burton, Robert, eds. (2002). "Spinetail Swift". International Wildlife Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). Tarrytown, NY, USA: Marshall Cavendish. p. 2484. ISBN 978-0-7614-7266-7.
- Chantler (1999b), p. 391.
- Wood, Casey Albert (1917). The Fundus Oculi of Birds, Especially as Viewed by the Ophthalmoscope. Chicago, IL, USA: Lakeside Press. pp. 56–58. LCCN 17016887.
- Chantler (1999a), p. 187.
- "Swifts". The Encyclopedia Americana, vol. 26. New York, NY, USA: Encyclopedia Americana Corporation. 1920. p. 133.
- Surface, H. A. (May 1905). "Family 21, Micropodidae: The Swifts". The Zoological Quarterly Bulletin. 3 (1): 22.
- Sibley, David Allen (2000). The Sibley Guide to Birds. New York, NY, USA: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 290. ISBN 978-0-679-45122-8.
- Sibley, David (11 October 2010). "Identifying Chimney and Vaux's Swifts by wing shape". Sibley Guides. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
- Kaufman, Kenn (2005). Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America. New York, NY, USA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 228. ISBN 978-0-618-57423-0.
- Edwards, Ernest Preston (1998). A Field Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Adjacent Areas: Belize, Guatemala and El Salvador. Austin, TX, USA: University of Texas Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-292-72092-3.
- Lincoln, Frederick C. (October 1944). "Chimney Swift's Winter Home Discovered" (PDF). The Auk. 61 (4): 604–609. doi:10.2307/4080181.
- Wilson, James D. (2001). Common Birds of North America: An Expanded Guidebook. Minocqua, WI, USA: Willow Creek Press. p. 65. ISBN 978-1-57223-301-0.
- Wauer, Roland H. (1999). Heralds of Spring in Texas. College Station, TX, USA: Texas A & M University Press. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-89096-879-6.
- Williams, George G. (March 1956). "Altitudinal Records for Chimney Swifts" (PDF). The Wilson Bulletin. 68 (1): 71–72. JSTOR 4158462.
- Dexter, Ralph W. "More concerning the thundering and clapping sounds of the Chimney Swift" (PDF). The Auk. 63 (3): 439–440. doi:10.2307/4080136.
- Whitcomb, W. H.; Bhatkar, A.; Nickerson, J. C. (December 1973). "Predators of Solenopsis invicta Queens Prior to Successful Colony Establishment". Environmental Entomology. 2 (6): 1101–1103. doi:10.1093/ee/2.6.1101.
- Webster, Francis Marion (27 February 1915). "Alfalfa attacked by the clover root circulio". U. S. Department of Agriculture Farmers' Bulletin. 649: 1–8.
- Woods, Gordon T. (October 1940). "Chimney Swifts Destroy Many Insects" (PDF). Bird Banding. 11 (4): 173–174.
- Duke, Gary E. (April 1977). "Pellet Egestion by a Captive Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)" (PDF). The Auk. 94 (2): 385. JSTOR 4085119.
- Tiner, Tim. "Chimney Swift". Ontario Nature. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- George, William G. (January 1971). "Foliage-gleaning by Chimney Swifts (Chaetura pelagica)" (PDF). The Auk. 88 (1): 177. doi:10.2307/4083983.
- Crossley, Richard (2011). The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds. Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press. p. 322. ISBN 978-0-691-14778-9.
- Brown, Charles R. (Autumn 1980). "Chimney Swift Tries to Steal Prey from Purple Martin" (PDF). Journal of Field Ornithology. 51 (4): 372–373.
- Cottam, Clarence (October 1932). "Nocturnal Habits of the Chimney Swift" (PDF). The Auk. 49 (4): 479–481. doi:10.2307/4076440.
- Collins, Charles T.; Bull, Evelyn L. "Seasonal Variation in Body Mass of Chimney and Vaux's Swifts" (PDF). North American Bird Bander. 21 (4): 143–152.
- Dexter, Ralph W. (April 1992). "Sociality of Chimney Swifts (Chaetura pelagica) Nesting in a Colony" (PDF). North American Bird Bander. 17 (2): 61–64.
- Hofslund, P. B. (June 1958). "Chimney Swift nesting in an abandoned Pileated Woodpecker hole" (PDF). The Wilson Bulletin. 70 (2): 192.
- Hyde, A. Sydney (January 1924). "Chimney Swift Nesting in a Cistern" (PDF). The Auk. 41 (1): 157–158. doi:10.2307/4074113.
- Rogers, Charles H. (July 1917). "Chimney Swift Nesting in a Well" (PDF). The Auk. 34 (3): 337. doi:10.2307/4072224.
- Baicich, Paul J.; Harrison, Colin J. O. (1977). Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds (2nd ed.). Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press. p. 195. ISBN 978-0-691-12295-3.
- Kyle & Kyle (2005), p. 38
- Kyle & Kyle (2005), p. 39
- Dexter, Ralph W. (July 1969). "Banding and Nesting Studies of the Chimney Swift, 1944–1968" (PDF). The Ohio Journal of Science. 69 (4): 193–213.
- "Longevity Records of North American Birds". U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- Steeves, Tanner K.; Kearney-McGee, Shannon B.; Rubega, Margaret A.; Cink, Calvin L.; Collins, Charles T. (2014). A. Poole, ed. "Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)". The Birds of North America Online. Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology. doi:10.2173/bna.646. (Subscription required (help)).
- Cink, Calvin L. (Summer 1990). "Snake Predation on Chimney Swift Nestlings" (PDF). Journal of Field Ornithology. 61 (3): 288–289.
- Laskey, A. R. 1946. Snake depredation at birds' nests. Wilson Bull. 58:217-218.
- Dexter, R. W. 1946. More concerning the thundering and clapping sounds of the Chimney Swift. Auk 63:439-440.
- Fischer, R. B. 1958. The breeding biology of the Chimney Swift, Chaetura pelagica (Linnaeus). N.Y. State Mus. Sci. Serv. Bull. 368:1-139.
- Hamann, C. B. (March 1940). "Notes on Aproctella nuda sp. nov. a Filarioid Nematode from the Chimney Swift Chaetura pelagica (Linn.)". American Midland Naturalist. 23 (2): 390–392. doi:10.2307/2420671. JSTOR 2420671.
- Peterson, Paul; Atyeo, Warren T.; Moss, W. Vayne (1980). Feather Mite Family Eustathiidae (Aracina: Sarcoptiformes). Philadelphia, PA, USA: Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. p. 32. ISSN 0096-7750.
- Ewing, H. E. (1930). "The taxonomy and host relationships of the biting lice of the genera Dennyus and Eureum, including the descriptions of a new genus, subgenus and four species". Proceedings of the United States National Museum. 77 (2843): 1–16. doi:10.5479/si.00963801.77-2843.1.
- Manter, H. W.; Snyder, Raymond (April 1961). "Pseudochoanotaenia (Cestoda) in a Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica) in North America". The Journal of Parasitology. 47 (2): 230. doi:10.2307/3275293. JSTOR 3275293.
- Boyd, Elizabeth M. (December 1951). "The External Parasites of Birds: A Review" (PDF). The Wilson Bulletin. 63 (4): 363–369.
- Kell, Stephen A.; Hahn, Jeff. "Prevention and control of bed bugs in residences". University of Minnesota Extension. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- Nocera, J; et al. (2012). "Historical pesticide applications coincided with an altered diet of aerially foraging insectivorous chimney swifts". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 279 (1740): 3114–3120. doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.0445. PMC 3385487. PMID 22513860.
- "Chimney Swifts: What's in my chimney". Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
- Finnis, R. G. (January 1960). "Road Casualties Among Birds". Bird Study. 7 (1): 21–32. doi:10.1080/00063656009475957.
- Dionne, Mark; Maurice, Cėline; Gauthier, Jean; Shaffer, François (December 2008). "Impact of Hurricane Wilma on migrating birds: the case of the Chimney Swift". The Wilson Journal of Ornithology. 120 (4): 784–792. doi:10.1676/07-123.1.
- Paul D. Kyle (2005). Chimney Swifts: America's Mysterious Birds Above The Fireplace. Texas A & M University Press.
- Althea Sherman (1952). Birds of an Iowa Dooryard. University of Iowa Press.
- Chantler, Phil (1999a). Swifts: A Guide to the Swifts and Treeswifts of the World (2nd ed.). London, UK: Pica Press. ISBN 978-1-8734-0383-9.
- Chantler, Phil (1999b). "Family Apodidae (Swifts)". In del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew; Sargatal, Jordi. Handbook of Birds of the World, vol. 5: Barn-owls to Hummingbirds. Barcelona, Spain: Lynx Edicions. pp. 388–466. ISBN 978-84-87334-25-2.
- Kyle, Paul D.; Kyle, Georgean Z. (2005). Chimney Swifts: America's Mysterious Birds Above the Fireplace. College Station, TX, USA: Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 978-1-58544-371-0.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to the chimney swift.|
|Wikispecies has information related to Chaetura pelagica|
- Birds of North America - Chimney Swift
- Chimney Swift Conservation Project—Driftwood Wildlife Association
- Ralph W. Dexter research on chimney swift
- Photos from Flickr's Field Guide Birds of the World
- "Chimney swift media". Internet Bird Collection.
- Photos and videos of breeding behavior from Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Nestcam project
- Sound recording at Florida Museum of Natural History
- Audio recordings of chimney swift on Xeno-canto.
- Chimney swift photo gallery at VIREO (Drexel University)