Alpine swifts fly nonstop for more than six months

The birds eat and rest without touching the ground

By Jessica Shugart, 15:54 PM October 7, 2013

If alpine swifts need to catch a snooze, they do it on the fly. The birds stay airborne for at least six months without touching terra firma, a new study shows.

As their name implies, swifts are agile aerialists. Researchers have suspected for decades that the birds spend most of their lives on the wing.

After breeding in Switzerland every summer, alpine swifts, Tachymarptis melba, migrate to West Africa for the winter. They then fly across the Sahara to spend the spring in North Africa and Spa...

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