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2012-02-28
What bird family has the shortest legs in the world?


Swifts have the shortest legs. They have four small pointing toes which enable them to cling to vertical surfaces. They are unable to perch on twigs or wires.

Swifts are of the family, Apodidae, and are highly aerial birds. They occur on all the continents, though not in the far north or large deserts, and on many oceanic islands. Swifts of temperate regions are strongly migratory and winter in the tropics. In a single year the common swift can cover at least 200,000 km.

The Following Swifts can be seen in Southern Africa and on Aves Birding Tours/Safaris/Adventures: -

African Palm-Swift – Cypsiurus parvus

Alpine Swift – Tachymarptis melba

Little Swift – Apus affinis

White-rumped Swift – Apus caffer

Horus Swift – Apus horus

Common Swift – Apus apus

African Black Swift – Apus barbatus

Bradfield’s Swift – Apus bradfieldi

Mottled Swift – Tachymarptis aequatorialis

Scarce Swift – Schoutenapus mypotilus


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