Identification: Swifts appear most closely similar to swallows but they have longer, stiffer, more sickle-shaped wings and their plumage is all dark almost black except for a paler chin
Habitat: Breeds in towns and cities and occasionally in old trees.
Distribution: A common and widespread summer visitor over much of Britain, except north-west Scotland, the Hebrides, Shetland and Orkneys, mainly between May-late August.
Widespread and easily found in summer in most of Europe.
Population: 80 000 breeding pairs in Britain with a further 20 000 from Ireland but estimates are particularly difficult to make. Found throughout the region although rare in northern Scotland. Most common in East Anglia and the London area.
More than 4 million birds breed throughout Europe, particularly in urban areas.