Locals in the Turkish province of Sivas have found a rare and unique swift, arousing curiosity in the Central Anatolian province where the swift is seen as a mystical creature.
The swift spends almost its whole life flying and is rarely seen on the ground. However, local man Sami Gül saw the bird in the yard of Sivas’ Gaziosmanpaşa Mosque.
Thinking that the bird was dehydrated, Gül took to it a fountain to drink water and was surprised that the bird did not try to escape despite the fact that it was healthy.
There is a local myth in Sivas that those who touch a swift will not be troubled for one year, started coming to see and touch the bird after Gül took it to the fountain.
“The bird was lying among the trees in the garden. I took it to give some water and then we learned that it was a swift. It is said that this bird is always in the sky and after it lands it cannot fly again,” he said.
The swift is one of the few birds mentioned in Quran. The Islamic holy book’s “Elephant surah” tells the story of how in 570 a ruler in today’s Yemen set out with an army of elephants to destroy the Kaaba in Mecca.
However, at the entrance of the Kaaba a group of swifts threw stones at the elephants and defeated them.
Unlike other bird species, swifts fly for their entire life, benefiting from a unique wing structure that allows them to sleep while flying. They come to the ground only to reproduce and then do not fly again.