Which bird can fly 3 to 4 years continuously?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

The bird that can fly for 3 to 4 years continuously is the common swift (Apus apus). This remarkable bird is known for its incredible flying abilities and its ability to spend the majority of its life in the air. While other birds may take breaks during long migrations or rest during the night, the common swift is constantly on the move, rarely landing except to breed.

One of the most astonishing things about the common swift is its ability to stay in flight for extended periods of time. During the breeding season, these birds will fly continuously for months on end, often covering thousands of miles. They are able to do this by riding the air currents and thermals, which provide them with the lift and energy they need to stay aloft.

The reason for the common swift’s extended flights is largely due to its diet. These birds feed primarily on insects, which are abundant in the air. By staying in flight, they are able to continually search for and catch their prey without the need to land. This constant flight also allows them to access a larger foraging area, increasing their chances of finding food.

While the energetic costs of such prolonged flights are undoubtedly high, common swifts have evolved several adaptations to mitigate these costs. For example, they have a streamlined body shape and long, narrow wings, which reduce drag and increase aerodynamic efficiency. They also have a high metabolic rate and a specialized respiratory system, enabling them to extract more oxygen from the air and generate the energy needed for sustained flight.

Contrary to popular belief, common swifts do not live short lives. In fact, they are known for their longevity, with some individuals living up to 20 years or more. This is quite remarkable considering the physical demands of their lifestyle. While the exact reasons for their long lifespan are not yet fully understood, it is believed that their ability to fly continuously and avoid predators while in the air may contribute to their longevity.

The common swift is a truly remarkable bird that is capable of flying for 3 to 4 years continuously. Its ability to stay in flight for such extended periods is made possible by its adaptations for sustained flight and its reliance on airborne insects for food. Despite the high energetic costs associated with all that flight, common swifts also manage to live surprisingly long lives, contrary to popular notions about living hard and dying young.