Chaetura Vauxi – Vaux’s Swift

Chaetura Vauxi - Vaux's Swift in the US

Known as Vaux’s swift, Chaetura vauxi it is a little swift that is endemic to North and Central America, as well as northern South and Central America. William Sansom Vaux, an American scientist, was honored with the name.

Quick Overview: Chaetura Vauxi – Vaux’s Swift
Body size: Around 4-4.5 in (10-11 cm) and a weight of 17 g (0.6 oz)
Main colors: Gray-brown, Green
Range: Eastern United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: June, July, August, September
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Vaux’s swift Description

The plumage of both sexes is relatively similar, with a simple grayish-brown look that is occasionally emphasized by a faint green iridescence. Compared to the rest of their underbelly, their upper breast and neck area are lighter in color. Speed is a priority for Vaux’s swifts, which have a sleek aerodynamic structure that includes long, pointed wings, short and blunt humeri, and a compact overall body. Swifts are distinguished by their short legs and little feet. The bill is short and thick in appearance.

Chaetura Vauxi - Vaux's Swift in the US
Chaetura Vauxi – Vaux’s Swift. Source: Wikimedia


These birds have a length of 4-4.5 in (10-11 cm) and a weight of 17 g (0.6 oz). Their wings could range 11.5 in (29 cm).


Old-growth woods with a mix of coniferous and deciduous vegetation are where most Vaux’s Swifts may be found. Large, hollow trees, which can be either dead or living, are critical to swifts’ ability to successfully lay their eggs.


Insects and spiders are the most common meals consumed all year long. The Vaux’s swifts soar above the forest canopy and swoop down, stopping at a tree to feed on insects that are flying close to the tree, especially during the nesting season. This species of swift may usually be found soaring above mature woods at altitudes ranging from 20 to 50 meters above the top of the canopy.


Vaux’s swifts are mostly propelled forward by flying. Unless they are sitting on their nest or roost, they are constantly on the go. They fly at a high rate of speed and with great erraticness. The quick and rapid motions might create the appearance that the wings are not constantly in sync, which is not always the case. Swifts are well-known for their ability to fly virtually anyplace.

Chaetura vauxi Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Apodiformes
  • Family: Apodidae
  • Genus: Chaetura
  • Species: Chaetura vauxi

Best time of the year to see

The best time to see these birds in the United States is during the summer season (June – September).

Distribution of the Vaux’s swift in the USA

Throughout southeastern Alaska and western Montana as well as northern California, this species breeds. Winters in the tropics, ranging from southern Mexico to the southernmost areas of the world.

The Vaux’s swift can be found in the following states in the United States – Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.

Chaetura Vauxi – Vaux’s Swift

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