What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Sorry. This is a serious question, really. I promise!

Does anyone here know, or have any idea where to find, the speed at which a swallow flies? Any type of swallow, as long as I can say “The airspeed velocity of a [insert-type] swallow is [insert number] [kmh/mph].” I’m looking for an actual number, not a Monty Python gag response.

Google has, for the first time, failed me utterly. Searching through past threads only yields discussions on the merits of swallowing various body fluids. So, teeming millions, enlighten me. :slight_smile:

Geez, I’d say you could just make something up, within reason. Surely not all swallows (African or European) fly at the same rate. Some are bound to be faster, some slower. Let’s go with…hmmm…10 miles per hour, or 16 km/h. Who’s going to prove you wrong? Someone who’s clocked every single swallow? :slight_smile:

I have flown with Barn and Tree swallows (me in a glider) and can tell you that typical speeds are something like 30-35 mph. Their favorite pastime is catching small insects. They are extremely maneuverable and can certainly fly much faster than 35 mph when they wish to. They can also do a “near hover” maneuver, which they often use briefly when entering their nests, or passing food to babies in a nest.

As you no doubt realize, “airspeed velocity” is redundant; “airspeed” should suffice unless you’re trying to be faithful to MPATHG.


From this site:

Fdisk says

Get real.
You can’t post a question like this and expect us to just ignore the possibilities.

Where did you get the coconuts?

KinSaba: Actually, Monty Python gag responses are fine, I just wanted to make sure that the thread did include SOME real responses so I got the required information, and that the mods didn’t assume this was a troll thread.

Xema, Darwin’s Finch: Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I can now die in peace knowing the answer to this question.

Very appropriate that a finch knew the answer to the question.

Now you must go and cut down the mightiest tree in the forest with… A HERRING!!!

What? I shall do no such thing!



ecky ecky ecky pookang zoop boink zhowli zhiv


Run away! Run away!

Its only a model.

an African or European Swallow?
I don’t know that…AAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!

This thread locked in 5…4…3…2…

Look at the bones!!!

How often do you ever see a laden swallow?

They could carry their cargo on a string, under the dorsal guidance feathers.

Alright, STOP! This thread has gotten SILLY!

It’s not a question of where he grips it.
It’s a simple matter of weight ratios.
A 5 ounce bird cannot carry a …