Charity asks for swift help




The RSPB wants residents and companies in London to help stop the decline in the numbers of swifts in the City.

Every summer, London awakes to the call of screaming swifts returning to their birthplaces from wintering grounds south of the Sahara. Each year we record fewer and fewer.

London residents are asked to report sightings of Swifts - Pic Steve Round (rspb-images.com)

London residents are asked to report sightings of Swifts - Pic Steve Round (rspb-images.com)

The RSPB, working with a number of partners, is now urging Londoners to step-up support for these amazing birds, which devour flying insects and offer us a free and natural form of mosquito control.

There are two steps that will support swifts; reporting sightings and fitting swift nestboxes to homes, offices and other tall buildings.

Mayor Boris Johnson’s supporting the campaign to increase the number of nest sites for swifts in London and has helped finance the installation of swiftboxes on police stations in the capital, including the Metropolitan Police’s famous New Scotland Yard offices.

With just a little care and effort we can save their nest places for them, or create new ones, and preserve this amazing beneficial insect-eating bird

Edward Mayer, Swift Conservation

Camden Council‘s already fitted nestboxes to many of its buildings and has created a best practice guide to help others follow their lead.

Edward Mayer,  from  Swift Conservation,  said: “New building techniques plus insulation and renovation works are depriving them [swifts] of their old nest places inside eaves and gables, which they return to year after year. Yet with just a little care and effort we can save their nest places for them, or create new ones, and preserve this amazing beneficial insect-eating bird to delight future generations.”

Helping the Swift

The RSPB suggests a number of simple measures that could help the dwindling swift population:

  • Leave any existing nest sites undisturbed where possible. Swifts will use the same nest sites again and again
  • If you need to carry out repair work on your roof or fascias and soffits, make new nest access holes to match the old ones at exactly the same spot
  • If building a new house, plan some internal nest spaces at the design stage
  • If you are unable to do any of these, the other alternative is to fit a custom-made swift box.

You may also be interested in:




%d bloggers like this: