Swift

From Academic Kids

(Redirected from Apodidae)
For other meanings of the word Swift see Swift (disambiguation).
Swifts
image:Chimneyswiftykg.jpg
Chimney Swift
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Apodiformes
Family:Apodidae
Genera

Many; see text.

Contents

Swifts

The swifts are the most aerial of birds and some, like the Common Swift, even sleep and mate on the wing.

One group, the Swiftlets or Cave Swiftlets have even developed a form of echolocation for navigating through dark cave systems where they roost.

They are superficially similar to swallows but are completely unrelated to those passerine species, since swifts are in the separate order Apodiformes, which they formerly shared with the hummingbirds.

The resemblances between the groups are due to convergent evolution reflecting similar life styles based on catching insects in flight.

The family scientific name comes from the Greek απους, apous, meaning "without feet". These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead on vertical surfaces. This tradition continued into the middle ages, as see in the heraldic martlet.

Like swallows and martins, the swifts of temperate regions are strongly migratory and winter in the tropics.

Many swifts have a characteristic shape, with a short forked tail and very long swept-back wings that resemble a crescent or a boomerang. The flight is characterised by a distinctive "flicking" action quite different from swallows.

The nest is glued to a vertical surface with saliva, and the genus Aerodramus use only that substance, which is the basis for bird's nest soup.

Taxonomy

In the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy, the old order Apodiformes is split. Swifts remain in that order, but hummingbirds are put into a new order, Trochiliformes.

The taxonomy of this group is in general complicated, with genus and species boundaries widely disputed, especially amongst the swiftlets.

The treeswifts are closely related to the true swifts, but form a separate family.

Species list: Family Apodidae

Tribe Cypseloidini

Tribe Collocaliini - swiftlets

Tribe Chaeturini - needletails

Tribe Apodini - typical swifts

Reference

External link

eo:Apusedoj fr:Apodid de:Mauersegler ja:アマツバメ科 (Sibley) zh:雨燕科

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