Swifts (Family Apodidae)

 

The swifts are a family, Apodidae, of highly aerial birds. They are
superficially similar to swallows but are actually not closely related to
passerine species at all; swifts are in the separate Order Apodiformes,
which they share with the hummingbirds. The treeswifts are closely
related to the true swifts, but form a separate family, the Hemiprocn-

idae.

 

The resemblances between swifts and swallows are due to convergent
evolution reflecting similar life styles based on catching insects in flight.

 

The family scientific name comes from the ancient Greek απους, apous,
meaning "without feet", since swifts have very short legs and never settle
voluntarily on the ground, perching instead on vertical surfaces.

 

 

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