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Alien Blue Swift birds spotted in Lagos raises curiosity  

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By Chris Onuoha

An alien blue swift bird species has been spotted in the city of Lagos, attracting unusual curiosity among residents. The blue swift – a family of Apodidae belongs to an ancient group of birds, and are the fastest of all birds in level flight.

The blue swift

It was sighted on Lagos Island perched on an aluminum rail at Marina. These birds are not harmful or diabolical as some people might superstitiously believe, rather, they are delights to watch with their mostly aerial lifestyles.

The Blue Swifts are known to spend three months of the year in Britain, arriving in early May and leaving in early August, and following the summer months, they are known for spending their winters in the south of the Sahara.  They have been seen in the Congo Basin, Malawi, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa but this is the first time they have been sighted in Nigeria.

Until recently, findings point that their routes were unknown until the last few months where sighting have been reported, thereby leading to speculations that these birds have migrated to Nigeria.

David Lack, an ornithologist who did the most research work on swifts specie, recorded that swifts travelled over 6000 miles to reach South Africa in an inexplicable flight. One reason why it is hard to know their point of exit, their whereabouts, and what they are doing during winter, is that they look like other swift species, especially the African black swift.

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