Updated: Jul 6, 2021
Swifts fly to the UK from Africa each spring to breed but their population has fallen by more than half in the last 25 years.
For a while now Centre E in Ely has been working in conjunction with Dick Newell & Bill Murrells from Action for Swifts. They now have a total of 12 boxes on top of the building in Barton Road to try and help increase the numbers of these special birds.
Swifts placed on the amber list for conservation status in the uk with the RSPB.
Swifts are known to favour habitats in older buildings with a lot of ‘nooks and crannies’, however with the amount of re-development of these buildings and more and more new buildings being built they are finding it far more difficult to find places to create a safe nest for them to lay their eggs.
Matt from the Centre along with Dick and Bill have worked hard to get the point of swifts using the boxes, 2 of which have cameras linked up, you can find the live feed to these on youtube.: https://youtu.be/N9HgXafAVsg
Out of the 2 boxes linked up to cameras so far, we are delighted to say 2 eggs have been laid in a nest in one of the boxes, which we are eagerly anticipating these to hatch in the near future. There are a few places locally supporting these fascinating birds with safe spaces to hopefully encourage swift growth, we will be continuing to monitor the box usage of the swifts and we hope in time to link up more cameras so everybody can
continue to learn and see how these species live and grow.
To see more projects by ACTION FOR SWIFTS visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Action-for-Swifts-1004173086267940
If you were watching BBC Spring watch recently you will have seen that the national efforts to grow the swift population featured quite heavily..
A Wilburton man has been praised by host Chris Packham for the "astonishing achievement" of making 27,000 swift boxes since he retired 13 years ago.
Mr Stimpson said it was "'absolutely brilliant' to receive support from the BBC Springwatch presenter. He said the boxes he makes are like normal nest boxes but "the bird enters from just underneath the box".
"The problem is that we've renovated so many houses, the swift nests in little holes in old style roofs and they're just being filled in so there is nowhere to go," he said.
Mr Stimpson said making the boxes "started as a hobby and now it's pretty much a full-time job".
In his online video Chris Packham says he salutes Mrs Stimpson's amazing achievement and looks forward to him hitting the 30,000 mark for his 80th birthday later in the year!