Documentation and Identification of Northern Arizona's first Record of Chimney Swift

Notes | By Jason A. Wilder | Accepted July 03, 2020

A Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica) found in Cameron, Arizona 19 May 2018 was the first record of this species for northern Arizona and only the second documented with photos in the state. Separating Chimney from Vaux’s Swift is among the more challenging of North American bird identification problems. This article describes the field marks portrayed in the literature that distinguish Vaux’s from Chimney Swifts, and how these were applied to the Chaetura observed near Cameron. These traits are reviewed in more detail in Johnson (2013) and Sibley Guides (2010). Careful examination and documentation of Chaetura swifts in Arizona is not easy, but by paying attention to the field marks, perhaps additional records of Chimney Swift will be documented in the state.