Swifts are in trouble. Their breeding numbers plummeted by 47 per cent between 1995-2014, making them an amber-listed species on the list of Birds of Conservation Concern.
Why is this happening? The RSPB believes loss of nest sites is at least partly responsible. These migrant birds return from their wintering grounds in Africa to the same spot each year to breed – usually in buildings, in gaps under roof tiles and eaves.
Due to our tendency to seal up buildings during renovation or knock them down, swifts are returning to discover their nest site has gone or access is blocked.
Your information will help our knowledge of swifts so that more nest sites can be provided and protected. Tell the RSPB where you see swifts and help the RSPB and local organisations to help them.
They are particularly interested in sightings of swifts going to nest sites or low-level screaming parties of swifts, which is a breeding behaviour.
In Leicestershire, councils are getting together to identify where swifts are breeding in order to create planning zones within which builders and developers have to provide swift boxes in the walls of newly built houses, so that swifts can colonise these from existing established nest sites.
Knighton Wild is asking people to report sightings of swifts either going to nests or flying in low-level screaming parties in Knighton and Clarendon Park during Swift Awareness Week – 16th to 23rd June 2018. Let us know via our Facebook page or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We shall be visiting areas where swifts have been sighted the following week. let us know if you’d like to join us.