Over the last few weeks, several Lagosians have reported the
sightings of the Blue Swift bird around the metropolis. The bird is one
of the fastest creatures on earth, reaching speeds of 170 miles per hour
and are commonly not found in this part of the world.
The Swift is part of a larger group called the Apodidae, Greek for ‘footless’,
a homage to the bird’s rarely used legs- because it’s always in flight!
The Apodidae is one of the oldest species of birds in the world.
A more spectacular feat of the Swift bird is its ability to travel
incredible distances. In a year, they can easily cover over 200,000
kilometres. The Blue Swift in particular spends three months in
Britain-arriving in early May and leaving in August, just as the summer
ends. After the summer, Blue Swift birds have been known to travel as
far as Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa where
renown ornithologist David Lack (who has done the most extensive
researches on Blue Swifts) recorded 6,000 mile trips.
This is the first time these birds are being spotted in Nigeria.
Could they have migrated to Nigeria for the season? No one is sure yet.
Their speed makes it hard for one to determine where they’re actually
planning to spend the winter but their presence on the Lagos skyline is
a pleasant sight. They’re also hard to spot because of their
resemblance to African Black Swift.
With their gleaming blue colour and their mesmerizing flights, they’re such a delight to watch.