Swifts are declining in the UK: the BTO Breeding Bird Survey reports a 50% reduction in reported sightings in the 22 years to 2016, the species is amber listed and has recently been classified by the IUCN as endangered. There is evidence this decline is largely linked to a reduction in the number of available nest sites and this in turn is caused by the modernisation of housing stock, eliminating the structural features of older houses preferred by nesting swifts.
The good news is that creating sites suitable for swifts is not difficult; a number of different nest boxes are available as well as internal boxes which can be incorporated into the structure of a property. In the case of older houses, or other buildings such as churches, undergoing renovation or the building of new houses or other buildings, boxes can easily be included in the planned works. In areas where swifts are already present the creation of additional nesting sites in this way can be very successful. In areas where swifts are less evident they can be attracted by playing swift calls in the proximity of the boxes.
In 2016 we established Hampshire Swifts: we are a conservation group which works to protect existing nest sites and to increase the overall stock of Swift nest sites by encouraging householders, local authorities, churches, businesses and developers to install Swift nest boxes and bricks on existing buildings and in new developments.
Hampshire Swift Day 2018
On the 30th June 2018, Hampshire Swifts will host the 2nd annual Hampshire Swift day in Romsey at Crosfield Hall. Details can be found on the adjacent flyer or at www.hampshireswifts.co.uk.
Experience a wide range of exciting exhibits and activities for children and adults. Make or buy your own Swift nest boxes, decorate Swift nests, plan a trip to see them nesting, “travel” across Africa with Swifts, watch them on the nest and listen to their calls.
Learn more about Swifts from our inspirational guest speakers, Kiki Maurey of Lyndhurst Swift Action and the world-renowned Swift expert Edward Mayer of Swift Conservation, and catch-up on the activities and future plans of Hampshire Swifts.
Talks will start at 1330. There will also be an opportunity to “meet the experts” and explore the different ways you can help Hampshire’s Swifts.
Doors open at 11am and the event continues until 1800. The coffee shop will serve drinks and snacks throughout the day.