This spring, an estimated 100,000 pairs of Swifts will return from their winter holidays in Africa to once again grace the skies of Britain, and they will need somewhere to raise a brood of youngsters.
Many of these iconic birds will make their way back to the same nest that they have used for several years, but for some the old nest will no longer be available. As we repair our soffits, insulate the loft and replace the old roof with a new one we block-up the holes, nooks and crannies that provide Swifts with just what they need to make a home for the summer.
As part of National Nest Box Week (NNBW), 14-21 February, the British Trust for Ornithology, in partnership with Jacobi Jayne, and with support from Swift Conservation, are encouraging people to put up nest boxes for these wonderful birds.
Jeff Baker of the BTO, said, “The Swift is in trouble. During the last decade we have lost over a quarter of our breeding pairs so now is a good time to try and help this majestic summer visitor before it is too late. By putting up a nest box just under our eaves we can provide the much needed nesting space that has been lost.”
Edward Mayer, of the Swift Conservation advice service, commented, “There are many different ways of accommodating Swifts on your property, from purpose made boxes that fit into a wall, to more traditional wooden boxes that can be fitted close to the roof. There really is a solution for everyone and every Swift, so go on, fit a Swift box this National Nest Box Week! You can find out how to do it at our website, www.swift-conservation.org”
NNBW isn’t just about Swifts. Launched on Valentine’s Day, this is traditionally the time of year when birds begin to pair-up prior to the forthcoming breeding season, so now is a great time to put up a nest box in your garden. There are many different types that can be used, from a traditional box with a 25mm hole for Blue Tits and Coal Tits, to one with a 45mm hole for Starlings. For more information, visit the BTO website, www.bto.org
Notes for Editors
- NNBW is an annual event during which people are encouraged to provide nesting space for birds. NNBW was first launched in 1996 by BTO and Jacobi Jayne.
- More than 60 species of birds have been recorded using nest boxes. Most commonly, Blue and Great Tits, House Sparrows and Starlings will use the typical round hole design, while Robins and Spotted Flycatchers prefer open-fronted boxes. House Sparrows, Starlings and Spotted Flycatchers are all red-listed species of conservation concern.
- The BTO is the UK’s leading bird research organisation. Over thirty thousand volunteers contribute to the BTO’s surveys. They collect information that forms the basis of conservation action in the UK. The BTO maintains a staff of 100 at its offices in Norfolk, Bangor and Stirling, who analyse and publicise the results of project work. The BTO’s investigations are funded by government, industry and conservation organisations.
- Jacobi Jayne, as sponsors of NNBW, are offering a number of purpose build Swift nest boxes at a discounted rate for a limited period. For further details visit http://www.livingwithbirds.com/swifts. Customers ordering boxes should use the code NNBWSWIFT to get the discounted rate.
- The official website of National Nest Box Week www.bto.org/about-birds/nnbw
- For more information on Swifts, visit Swift Conservation Trust please visit http://www.swift-conservation.org/news.htm
(BTO Press Officer)
Office: 01842 750050 (9am-5.30pm)
Mobile: 07585 440910 (anytime)
Email: paul.stancliffe [at] bto.org
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