Swifts again

Last year, one of my projects was to investigate what might be done to attract swifts back to our house. I wrote about that here. It was interesting to learn about the birds’ life cycle and figure out what might be done to get them nesting again. We did not get any tenants last year – it would have been quite surprising if we did – but this year may be different …

I read that swifts return to Europe in the last week of April. This sounded curiously specific, as I am certain that the birds do not use a calendar, and I am sure that climate variations etc. would adjust the timing. So I decided to reinstall the swift attracting sound system in good time so that it is ready for their arrival and, about 10 days ago, we were up and running.

We have grounds for optimism that some swifts may move into one of our boxes in the coming weeks. The hope is that some birds who returned in their second year in 2019 spotted our boxes and plan to take up residence.

We noticed last year, and already this year, that some people, who are walking past our house, could hear the birdsong and were looking up to see where it was coming from. So I made a small sign explaining matters, which I laminated and fixed by our driveway. I have already seen people stop for a read. I look forward to seeing someone reading, then looking up excitedly at the birds coming and going from the boxes. 🙂

If you are interested in what sound swifts make, you can hear it here [only sound, no video].

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2 thoughts about “Swifts again
  • Hello Colin,
    keeping fingers crossed for your bird-project. At first I was a little mislead by the bird image and mistook the birds you refer as “swifts” with the ones I have some pleasure to observe. I checked and it looks the proper english word is “swallow” (lat. ‘Hirundinidae’ group). They are also keen hunters of flying-insects and have pointy wings, but unless swifts, they can be also spotted on groud (walking/jumping? 🙂 ). We keep some hens to have fresh eggs and these swallows keep building nests at farm buildings. Nice fellas they are, doing acrobatic efforts to catch flies and bugs.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/embedded-software/2020/04/23/swifts-again/