chimney swift


Definition of chimney swift

: a small sooty-gray swift (Chaetura pelagica) with long narrow wings that often builds its nest inside an unused chimney

called also chimney swallow

Examples of chimney swift in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While chimney swifts typically fly higher, rainy weather can cause them to forage lower to the ground. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "Hundreds of birds killed and injured after crashing into NASCAR Hall of Fame building," 16 Oct. 2019 The birds — identified as chimney swifts, which migrate from the United States to South America in the fall — were caught on video flying into the large building, which opened in May 2010. Ashley Boucher,, "Hundreds of Migrating Birds Crash Into NASCAR Hall of Fame with 97 of Them Dying," 16 Oct. 2019 The birds, identified as chimney swifts, hit the windows of the NASCAR Hall of Fame building, according to video from CNN affiliate WSOC. Amanda Watts, CNN, "Over 300 migrating birds smashed into Charlotte's NASCAR building," 16 Oct. 2019 Swarms of chimney swifts make the rounds, whistling in harmony. David Holahan,, "Visiting Corsica: Up and Down and Around The Mountainous Mediterranean Idyll," 13 Sep. 2019 One minute the early evening sky above the Menomonee River Parkway in Wauwatosa was clear except for the darting silhouettes of a half dozen chimney swifts and barn swallows. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Canada geese grouping up before molt migration," 9 June 2018 In Patterson Park alone, more than 200 bird species have been documented, including Baltimore orioles, chimney swifts and wood thrushes. Alison Knezevich,, "Patterson Park Audubon Center's winter weekend highlights urban birdwatching," 10 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chimney swift.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of chimney swift

1849, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of chimney swift was in 1849

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Cite this Entry

“Chimney swift.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

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chimney swift


Kids Definition of chimney swift

: a small dark gray bird with long narrow wings that often builds its nest inside chimneys

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