Vaux’s Swift

Basic Description

The Vaux’s Swift is a small bird species that measures about 4.5 inches long with a wingspan of approximately 12 inches. It has dark, sooty-brown feathers and appears similar to a cigar in shape while in flight. Unlike most birds, the Vaux’s Swifts have tiny feet and can cling to vertical surfaces.

Where To Find This Bird

Vaux’s Swifts breed across western North America from southern British Columbia down to central California. These birds migrate during winter months and can be found roosting at night in large numbers in towns, specifically near old brick chimneys.


Vaux’s swifts prefer nesting inside hollow trees or old buildings’ entrances like air vents or chimney flues as they require vertical surfaces on which they can cling to help reduce predation by avian predators such as hawks.


The Vaux’s swift feeds mainly on flying insects caught during flight using their wide-open bill. They consume primarily aphids but also mosquitoes, flies, beetles, termites as well as other insects available while foraging during flights on open fields.

Cool Facts

– One of the peculiarities is that these birds mate for life unless either one dies.
– The Vaux’s swift is an excellent flier capable of nonstop migratory flights covering up to 500 miles per day.
– In September every year, there are sightings of huge flocks gathering together before sunset over chimneys and empty buildings where they spend the night before moving farther south.
-The name “Vaux’s” was given in honor of William S. W. Ruschenberger who was a physician aboard a naval expedition between 1838 and 1841 that explored along the Pacific Coast region.

In conclusion, Vaux’s swift is a small bird with so many fascinating qualities that make it unique. While it may not be the most well-known bird species, its migration patterns and roosting habits make it an interesting sight to behold for any nature enthusiast lucky enough to see one.