Sunday, August 16, 2015

Chimney Swift

These two Chimney Swift photos won’t win any prizes, but they are my best to date. Swifts fly so fast and erratically, getting them focused in a photo is difficult. Although large numbers of swifts can still be observed, I don’t see them as often as even ten years ago. Populations are, indeed, declining. Ornithologists are not sure of the reasons for this drop in numbers. Fewer buildings with nesting chimney’s has been blamed, but research proves this hypothesis to be false (Steeves et al. 2014).
These swifts were among several feeding over the Dennison, Minnesota, sewage treatment ponds last Wednesday. From what I understand, because of the molting secondary feathers of the second bird, it must be an adult. Young swifts molting out of their juvenal plumage into their first basic (= winter) plumage do not molt their flight feathers.

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