Monday, 11 May 2020

wildlife garden - swift nest boxes


Swifts are back over and in our town the past few days. Flying low along our street as they do every year. I suspect they used to nest in a nearby tall old school building. It was renovated a few years ago and sadly I suspect the cavities they'd have used for nesting are now sealed, I didn't get my request for swift boxes to the Council on time. 

This weekend we put up two new boxes on our house - https://shopping.rspb.org.uk/garden-bird-nest-boxes/rspb-swift-nest-box.html
Swifts need our help, more and more under-eave nest sites are lost each year to renovations and demolitions. New-builds rarely allow space. Consider putting up a few boxes, bought online (loads of models available) or made at home using online templates. Take care if you put boxes up yourself rather than asking a roofer to do it. Third paragraph here links to a really good ladder safety article -
https://www.bristolswifts.co.uk/swift-nest-box-design/
May seem obvious and common sense but I found it made me act more safely than I otherwise would have known how.
And if you're having building work done use it as a brilliant opportunity to help nature by including some built-in boxes (not just swifts but martins, swallows, house sparrows, starlings, jackdaws, bats... Take your pick! Try them all!) 
Keep asking your local Council and housing developers to include swift (and other) boxes in their developments. You could greatly help an incredible don't-touch-land-for-a-year species. Let's make sure our grandchildren are still able to delight at the return of swifts when they reach our age.
Our other swift box is this rather lovely combined double nest & bat box - https://www.schwegler-natur.de/portfolio_1408366639/mauersegler-fledermaushaus-1mf/?lang=enReally heavy, installed by a stonemason.
Fingers crossed they find us this year.

Tons of swift resources online. A few here:




- swiftcam! (baby swifts soon!!!) - https://oumnh.ox.ac.uk/swifts-in-the-tower-0

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