Swifts fly nonstop for more than six months at a time

A study has suggested that alpine swifts stay airborne for more than six consecutive months aloft at a stretch.

London: A study has suggested that alpine swifts stay airborne for more than six consecutive months aloft at a stretch.

The study also revealed that the swifts don`t take rest even after they migrate to north Africa after their breeding season ends in Europe.

Felix Liechti of the Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach and his colleagues put 1.5-gram data loggers on three alpine swifts (Tachymarptis melba) at a Swiss breeding site, and re-captured them next year.

The device recorded the swifts` acceleration and geographic location and revealed that all three of them remained in the sky while migrating to and wintering in Africa, New Scientist reported.

Liechti said that the swifts survive on airborne plankton, and that most probably they nod off only for seconds, or only one half of their brain is used while the other half rests.