The swift resembles a swallow, but is larger and darker, with sickle-shaped wings and a short, forked tail.
Breeding mainly in towns and villages, the swift can be found throughout Europe except for the far north. It winters in Africa.
The swift, which mates for life, can even sleep while flying. It nests mainly under convex roof tiles or in holes in walls. The swift feeds on insects, and in the absence of insects during periods of cold weather the chicks can fall into a dormant state and survive.