Why the common swift deserves to be the Bird of the Year 2021

The Common Swift, Apus Apus, has been voted Bird of the Year 2021 by the members of SEO/Birdlife in an online poll. This reflects the growing awareness that this small bird, with it’s remarkable lifestyle, deserves more protection to maintain and grow its breeding population, not only in Spain but throughout Europe.

Swifts are magical in the manner of all things that exist just a little beyond understanding. Once they were called the “Devil’s bird,” perhaps because those screaming flocks of black crosses around churches seemed pulled from darkness, not light. But to me, they are creatures of the upper air, and of their nature unintelligible, which makes them more akin to angels. Unlike all other birds I knew as a child, they never descended to the ground. Helen Macdonald, Vesper Flights