Every year we welcome back Swifts to many towns in Ireland. They stay for around 4 months – mate, nest, fledge their young and then they are gone. For many they represent the start of summer with their familiar flight and screeching calls. This amazing bird travels from the southern parts of Africa, eats, sleeps and mates on the wing, landing only to nest. They can live for over 20 years and return every year to the same nest site. Their urban nesting locations are vital to their
survival, but sadly their numbers are declining rapidly and without our help this herald of summer could vanish from our skies.
Swifts typically nest in older buildings under eaves, in cracks, or under roof tiles – they cause no harm and are extremely clean – they are great neighbours!. Blocking up a nest site or repairing buildings can destroy those nests forever – with serious consequences for that pair and the species in general. They have honoured us by choosing our town as their home – and they need our help to ensure they continue to be part of
our natural heritage.
To help, we first need to understand what is happening. That’s where you come in!
– Your evening walk can be used for some ‘citizen science’ work and help us gather information to enable a better understanding of Swifts in Newbridge, you just need your ears and eyes (no binoculars or special equipment needed)
After a day feeding, Swifts arrive back each evening (between 8
to 10pm), flying in groups calling to each other before swooping
into their nests in buildings at high speed.
• Watch overhead and listen for the Swifts in flight
• Observe if they descend to a certain place
• If you see them entering a building – take note of it (address or location, and point where they enter
• If private residence – do not take photos and please respect residents’ privacy.
• Share the nest site details with Wild Kildare (contact details below)