Huntingdonshire RSPB group urges residents to 'take action for swifts'
- Credit: Ben Andrew
A local RSPB group is urging people to put swift nest boxes on their houses to provide new nesting sites for the birds.
The RSPB Huntingdonshire Local Group is urging people to take action for swifts during Swift Awareness Week which runs from July 3 to 11.
Swifts are a summer visitor to the UK, flying non-stop all the way from Africa each year to breed.
The RSPB fear that in 20 years more than half of swifts could have vanish due to lack of places to nest and the use of pesticides reducing their food sources.
The group is encouraging local people to put up swift nest boxes on their houses which can be purchased or easily built at home.
Local Group member Martin Baker, who has put up swift nest boxes on his house, said: “It’s a great joy seeing swifts return each May after a long and perilous journey.
“Thinking of the nest sites they lose each year, I felt compelled to help them. My boxes are there should they want and need them so they can continue to sky dance over my village for years to come.”
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Huntingdonshire residents can also report swift sightings on Swift Mapper – a web-based reporting system and mobile app.
By reporting sites where swifts are nesting it will help the RSPB know where swift nests need protecting, and where new nest sites need to be built to encourage more nesting.
RSPB Huntingdonshire Local Group representative Mervyn Vickery said: “It’s really important we each do what we can to help these incredible birds, as without our help, we could lose them forever.
“If you own a house, please consider putting up a swift nest box to help and do report your swift sightings on the Swift Mapper app.”
For more information on how to build a swift nest box visit: www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/nature-on-your-doorstep/garden-activities/createahighhomeforswifts/
To take part in Swift Mapper go to: www.rspb.org.uk/our-work/conservation/conservation-and-sustainability/safeguarding-species/swiftmapper/
For further information about the RSPB Huntingdonshire Local Group and how you can get involved with them visit: https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/groups/huntingdonshire/