If we want to keep the spectacular, special and beautiful bird that the Common Swift is in our cities to brighten up our summers, we will have to make sure
there are places for them to nest! The amount of suitable nestplaces for Swifts is declining because old building are being renovated or torn down and
replaced by buildings that don't offer any room for Swifts (or any other birdspecies for that matter). Construction companies can make the biggest difference
by far, so if you get a chance, try to inform them about their opportunities to help save a birdspecies from extinction. Some of these companies will gladly
use the help they give to green up their image. Be sure to stay informed about what they do though, as a construction companies' field of expertise is
construction of buildings, not of Swift nestplaces. There are a lot of things that can go wrong, so make sure to inform everyone involved well.
Below are some hints and things to keep in mind. If you need help, you can contact me (see the about me & contact section), or
try one of the links in the links section, for example the www.commonswift.org.
A wide range of possibilities is available to offer help for Swifts. There are special Swift-rooftiles, nestbricks, nestboxes in countless designs and there
are many different ways of adapting excisting situations to offer Swifts entrance to a suitable room to nest in. There are a couple of things to keep in
mind regardless of the method of creating a nestspace (in no particular order):
Entrance hole size,
Temperature: Just like a nestbox for a Great Tit shoudn't placed in the sun on a south-facing wall, nestboxes, or any other form of artificial
nestplaces for Swifts should also be protected from overheating. So don't put nestboxes up against a south-facing unless there's an overhanging roof or
something else that effectively shelters the box from the sunshine. Swifts might use boxes or other nest-opportunities that are in far from ideal positions
to nest in, but if all young die due to overheating, what help are you providing them with?
Temperature is an especially big issue when you're using Swift-rooftiles. These should only be used on roofs facing north or north-east and with an angle of
inclination of at least 45° to adequatly reduce the exposure to the sun. The angle of inclination should by no means be any less, as this will quickly
lead to overheating of the nestplace. Temperatures can reach really high levels under rooftiles (up to 60°!).
Walls will of course reduce the effect of the sun, but south facing walls will still get really hot on a sunny summersday, so don't install nestbricks in
Don't look at excisting 'natural' nestplaces (under rooftile, in cracks or holes or anything else), but use your common sense. If you're going to try to
help Swifts, do it right the first time.
Height: Swifts need some height to be able to exit a nestplace. The wingshape of a Swift is designed for fast flight, not for great lift.
Visit the links section for websites with more info.