A small flock of Alpine swifts in flight

Swifts and hummingbirds

Apodiformes are one of the most diverse orders of migratory birds on Earth. There are almost 450 species so far identified within three living familes: swifts, tree swifts and hummingbirds. All the birds in this order have very short legs and tiny feet that are only good for perching. Long wings containing short bones allow for some spectacular flying and hovering.

Scientific name: Apodiformes

Rank: Order

Common names:

  • Apodiformes,
  • Apodimorphae


Map showing the distribution of the Swifts and hummingbirds taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

Explore this group


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Birds
  5. Swifts and hummingbirds