Modern building practices have greatly improved the quality of new homes in the UK, however not to the benefit of everyone. Bird species such as swifts have occupied cracks and crevices in our buildings for thousands of years, but the improved standard and style of modern construction has put their survival in our towns and cities at risk.
Swifts are amazing
Swifts are one of the last of our summer migrants to arrive in
the UK and are the first to leave (staying for around 3 months).
They typically spend much of the winter time in the Congo, with
a brief visit to Mozambique around Christmas.
They have been recorded flying at an astonishing 69mph!
Swifts feed, mate, sleep & collect nest material entirely on the
The only time they land is when they return to the UK to nest.
The young take 4-5 years to mature during which they never land.
To build up strength in their flight muscles before leaving the
nest, young birds use their wings to do “press-ups” in the nest .
They have very short, stubby legs – their scientific name apus
apus means no legs.
They weigh about 44 grams (just under the weight of 4 £2 coins).
Swifts are entirely reliant on buildings in which to nest,
but they are very clean, quiet house-guests and should not be
confused with other birds that nest in or on buildings:
They do not leave lots of mess down walls and windows
(starlings, pigeons, house martins)
They do not scrabble around above ceilings squawking
They do not build a mud cup under the eaves of houses
They do not build a mud cup on the rafters inside a barn
or other out-building (swallows)
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Building Plastics (Wales) Limited, Unit 1 Penmaen Industrial Estate,
Penmaen Road, Pontllanfraith, Blackwood. NP12 2DQ Telephone : 01495 221 630
Incorporated in England and Wales. Company No 07681432 VAT No GB 191 9222 96