Today, we celebrate #WorldSwiftDay!

Every summer, Swifts Apus apus migrate epic distances from sub-Saharan Africa to grace our skies with their aerial mastery and screaming calls.

These ancient birds are part of the taxonomic Order ‘Apodiformes’, along with their closest living relatives: Tree Swifts in Asia, and Hummingbirds in The Americas. The three Families are thought to have diverged 65-70million years ago as part of the break-up of the Gondwanaland supercontinent.

However, if recent population trends continue, Swifts could join T-Rex in the realms of extinction.

Already on the Amber list of Birds of Conservation Concern in the Isle of Man, the Manx breeding population has fallen by 42% over the last 25 years. The UK population has declined by 60% and the species is now Red-listed in the UK.

Join Manx BirdLife and the Manx Ornithological Society in ‘Taking Action for Swifts’. You can help to monitor Swift activity, submit sightings and put-up nest boxes in your community.

Visit to find out more.

Common Swift by David Moreton
Common Swift © David Moreton