Future in Action

Future in Action

Greyhounds Of The Skies… Survey To Help Save The Swifts

When Swifts fledge they fly non-stop for four years, whilst they mature and become ready breed. They feed and mate on the wing, only stopping to raise their first young at four years old.  Most of us have marvelled at their ‘synchronised flying’ before they migrate.

However, they are on the RSPB’s amber list due to loss of UK nesting sites and need your help. The RSPB has launched a survey asking you to tell them where you have seen Swift screaming parties or where you know they are nesting. This way the RSPB and Swift Conservation can start to protect their sites.

Help these amazing birds by filling in the survey #WingingAround online at:


Please share this link with your friends and family too.

Jenny Oldroyd, CEMEX RSPB Business Conservation Advisor, comments: “We’re asking people to take part in the annual Swift Survey, a citizen science programme to confirm nesting sites around UK. If we know where they are nesting we can protect the sites for future breeding. Support and amplification from CEMEX staff would be amazing.

CEMEX has been helping Swifts for a number of years, installing nest boxes at Rugby Cement and an iconic Swift tower at CEMEX Salford Asphalt at Manchester, as part of active Biodiversity Action plans for both sites. The nest boxes both have calling mechanisms that “call in” the Swifts using recordings of Swift calls, so hopefully they will find their new homes soon.”

About Swifts

Swifts that survive the hazardous early years can expect to survive a further 4-6 years with the oldest known ringed bird living for at least 21 years. Swifts pair for life, meeting up each spring at the same nest site. Swifts fly on average 800 km every day (nearly 500 miles), and about 2 million km (more than 1.2 million miles) in a lifetime, which is more than four trips to the Moon and back.

Swift numbers have been declining steadily at least since 1994, and in 2009 the Swift was placed on the amber list of Birds of Conservation Concern because of its serious population decline in the UK.

The modernisation of many buildings has resulted in losses of nesting sites, although the full reasons for the decline are not yet fully understood. Unless we can change the fortunes of this popular bird, it will most likely be red-listed next time the conservation status of British birds is revised.

Because Swifts nest in the same places every year, the loss of nesting sites can be a serious problem. The RSPB works with Swift Conservation to establish where they are currently nesting, and whether the colonies are in danger from development. We also work with local authorities and housing developers to safeguard existing colonies, to encourage the retention of Swift nesting sites in refurbished buildings, and the provision of new nesting sites in new builds. To do this, we need to know where Swifts are nesting. Your help in telling us where you have seen Swift screaming parties or where you know they are nesting is extremely valuable.

Why not look up facts on Swifts: https://www.livingwithbirds.com/tweetapedia/21-facts-on-swift