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

Picture by Klaus Roggel (

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):
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 these walls.
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.

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