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Vaux's Swift


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A bird of the Pacific Northwest, Vaux's Swift spends almost all of daylight hours in the air foraging for insects. It is very similar to the Chimney Swift, a common species of the eastern United States, in appearance and habits.

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Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Small bird.
  • Dark gray-brown overall.
  • Wings long, pointed, and swept back.
  • Stiff wing beats.
  • Short bill and short, square tail give the body a cigar-like appearance.

Immature Description

Similar to adult.

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Field MarksHelp

  • Adult

    Vaux's Swift

    • © Evelyn Bull

Similar Species

  • Chimney Swift of East is slightly larger, with longer wings and a louder chattering flight call. Chimney Swift's rump is dark like the rest of its plumage, not paler as with Vaux's Swift.
  • Black Swift is much larger and uniformly dark.
  • White-throated Swift has bold white throat and flank markings.
  • Swallows have gliding wing beats, frequently perch on wires (swifts never do), and have noticeable tails.

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