Lopud summer comes with Alpine swifts (čiope)
Have you ever been told that you’re a real swift? It’s an old saying in Dubrovnik area. I’ve been told this many times during my life and it really says it all – chatty, temperamental, maybe a bit too much of both… Alpine swifts are definitely the loudest and most playful birds on the island. Our Rosy caught them in the sky on a video and photos. It was not an easy task. If you look up in the sky during the summer, you’ll recognise them as little black and white boomerang shaped objects intersecting each other in flight with great precision, punging from the sky and then flying up quickly. The chirps of the swifts in the early morning might drive some crazy. They sound as if they are constantly discussing, like a group of loud women over the afternoon coffee in a local bar.
You will find more Alpine swifts (Tachymarptis melba) in Dubrovnik area then any other place on Croatian coastline. They mix with common swifts (Apus apus), who are smaller and completely black. During the winter time, swifts from Lopud move to South Africa and come back again during the spring time. They live up to 20 years, migrate every year and always return to the place where they were born. Alpine swift is more resistant to weather conditions than its related common swift, so it arrives back to Lopud earlier (April) and returns later (October).
They nest on house facades and roof structures, laying eggs in late May. Babies hatch in early June, but they stay in the nest until late July or early August. Once they are fully capable to fly, they join the others in their dance under the sun. They go quite far in search of food (flies, mosquitoes, wasps) and return before sunset when you can hear them chirping above Lopud promenade.
Alpine swifts have very short legs which they use only for clinging to vertical surfaces. They never settle voluntarily on the ground. However, they do occasionally come down to the ground to feed on ants, bees, etc. Swifts tend to fly at extremely high altitudes and sometimes even sleep in the air. They fly along with other swifts and swallows, and can travel up to about 1000 km’s in a day! You can find out more fun facts about Alpine swifts here.
Swifts are the soundscape of Lopud, the symbol of summer. They even tell us how the weather will be. If they fly low, watch out for the rain is coming.
Hi! I’m Beti, the daughter of the owners of Apartments Mihajlović. I’ll probably be the one you’ll talk to long before you get to the island, since I manage all the bookings. I’m happy to help you with any questions you might have.
The first thing you will notice arriving at Lopud harbor or see on 9 of 10 postcards of Lopud is the 15th century Franciscan monastery. Check it out!
Looking for Lopud tour guide? Our new family member Ružica (Rosy) is certified tour guide for Dubrovnik and surroundings. From the summer 2020 she offers a number of exciting tailor made tours on Lopud, Elaphiti islands and Dubrovnik area. Romantic boat tours, foodie tours, day trips to Bosnia and Herzegovina… Take your pick.