Photo courtesy of SOS Swifts
Swifts are an iconic species of bird in the UK, with their signature silhouette instantly recognisable, but in just under 20 years their population has declined by a staggering 45%.
Swifts like to nest in nooks and crannies. One of the reasons for their decline is a lack of nesting sites caused by many new buildings being built without nesting opportunities for swifts and old buildings being knocked down or repaired.
Swifts are a priority species in the Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape. As part of the nature recovery efforts in the Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape, steps are being taken to boost the numbers of swifts by installing nest boxes on tall buildings and playing their calls to attract them. Ideal places for nest boxes are under eaves, on or in gables, or high walls.
To help facilitate this, the Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape team has given away numerous swift nest boxes to expand the size of existing swift colonies, or to establish new ones.
Things to consider for suitable nest box sites:
- Height above ground should be at least 4.5 metres
- Ideal places for nest boxes are under eaves, on or in gables, or high walls
- Nest boxes can be painted to match the colour of the building
- Make sure the swifts have a clear flight path to/from the nest boxes
Leiston Loves Swifts Project – Galloper Wind Farm Fund
One successful project underway is the Leiston Loves Swifts project, supported by funds from the Galloper Wind Farm Fund. The project has helped provide homes for swifts in three distinct locations:
So far, more than 100 nest boxes and 18 swift callers have been installed at 20 different locations. If you live in either of these three locations and you would like to apply for some free swift boxes and swift caller too, please email us coastandheaths@suffolkandessex-NL.org.uk.
You may have an existing swift colony and would like to provide further nesting opportunities for a growing swift population to help expand your colony size (in which case we can provide you with free boxes – without the need for a caller because swifts are already present).
Alternatively, you may want to establish a new colony of swifts and we can help you with this by providing you with six free swift boxes and a free swift caller too.
Volunteer to help swifts!
Would you like to volunteer to help swifts in the Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape?
We are looking for help with finding suitable sites for swift boxes and distributing boxes and callers around the Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape.
If you would like to find out more about these opportunities please email us.