… must be worth hundreds in the bush/air!

This White-throated Needletail, formerly known as a Spine-tailed Swift, fell to earth at Marraweeny, but it wasn’t from flying too close to the sun, a la Icarus.

Perhaps it hit an overhead powerline (is that right Penny?), a not uncommon occurrence for these fast-flying birds. It was found motionless on the ground, presumed dead, but nursed back to health. That’s the reason for the close-up shots.

Swifts, along with swallows and martins, spend most of their time in the air and catch insects on the wing. Unlike swallows, that often perch in between short flights, White-throated Needletails spend all day in the air, either resting or feeding. At night they roost in trees in forested hill country. Swifts feed chiefly ahead of weather changes and prefer warm, humid, rising air where there is maximum movement of insects. They breed in northern Asia and migrate to Australia in October-November

And its apparently one of the fastest-flying birds in the world, achieving speeds of 150+ kmh. Note the extremely long wings and primary feathers.

Youtube video of a White-throated Needletail

More photos of these swifts in Australia.

All photos courtesy Penny Long, Marraweeny.