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This project to build and install twelve nest boxes specifically designed for swifts’ needs will hopefully be the boost they need to build nests and raise their young in the Emmanuel Church tower.More projects for Charnwood Borough Council
Despite the frustrations of two lockdowns, 12 nest boxes for swifts have been built and installed in the belfry of Emmanuel Church on Forest Road near the centre of Loughborough thanks to a collaboration between The Church of England, volunteers at Glebe House, and staff at RSPB and idverde.
When swifts arrive in Britain each year in May, they’ve flown some 3,000 miles from central Africa where they spend the winter. They are amazing birds that feed, drink and even sleep on the wing. They aim to breed and raise their young here in Britain before the return journey to Africa in August.
Swifts don’t nest in trees but instead build their nests high up in gaps under the eaves of houses or holes in stone and brickwork. Unfortunately, the kind of places where they used to nest are often no longer accessible as old houses are demolished or repaired, restored and upgraded and the designs of new houses, which need to be more energy efficient, often make nest building impossible. It’s a long way to fly only to find there’s no suitable place to build a nest at the end of the journey. Difficulty finding somewhere to breed is one of the reasons that swifts have suffered a huge 58% decline in numbers since monitoring of them started in 1994.
This project to build and install twelve nest boxes specifically designed for swifts’ needs will hopefully be the boost they need to build nests and raise their young in the Emmanuel Church tower. To entice them in, the team has also installed a device that plays a recording of the calls of swifts, which should bring birds in from far and wide. Volunteers will be monitoring the site to see what happens. Swifts resemble swallows but look black all over and have a high pitched ‘screaming’ call. If you’re in the area, why not look up and, if you can spot these amazing birds coming or going from the church tower, you’ll know why they’re there.