Swift Conservation Project
Perhaps the most iconic and intriguing of our urban bird species, the Swift Apus apus, is a summer migrant that breeds throughout Europe and much of Asia and winters in southern Africa. However, in recent decades there has been much concern for Swifts as their numbers have been in decline throughout many parts of their range. The recent Bird Atlas 2007-11 shows there has been a substantial loss in range in Ireland since 1970, while the latest Countryside Bird Survey data shows an alarming 39% decline between 1998 and 2013. Reasons for their decline remain unknown, but it is thought that the loss of available nest sites due to the renovations of old buildings and the impacts of climate change could be significant factors.
BirdWatch Ireland is appealing for volunteers to take part in a National Swift Survey to help identify breeding sites. This information will help us protect important Swift colonies across Ireland.
To learn more about Swifts or for further details on taking part in Swift survey work, why not come along to one of our Swift Events this summer, click on the county in the table below for more information. Alternativly you can contact Brian Caffrey or Ricky Whelan at email@example.com
County Swift Surveys
In the summer of 2017 BirdWatch Ireland carried out its first whole-county Swift Survey in County Offaly. During the summer of 2018 we continued this work and surveyed counties, Laois, Westmeath and Tipperary. Although finding, recording and mapping Swift nesting sites is core to these projects we also made focused efforts to get local communities and residents involved in the monitoring but more so in the protection of Swift breeding colonies and nest sites. Togeather with Offaly County Council we have undertaken follow up measures and community projects to promote the findings or the report and empower local communities to take ownership of and responsability for their local Swift populations. We have experienced tremendous buy-in throughout the four counties so far surveyed and look forward to new surveys and projects in the future.
You can access and download the full survey reports which outline in detail the locations of all the Swift nests found in the four counties and provide both high-level and local reccomendations for each.
The reports can be accessed HERE.
These projects have been made possible with funding from the Local Authorities and The Heritage Council
Clara Tidy Towns Group pictured with Anton Krastev of BirdWatch Ireland during the 2017 Offaly Swift Survey
Watch our Swift Video on YouTube Here:
Swift Awareness Week 2018 (June 16th - 24th)
BirdWatch Ireland in colaboration with Swift Conservation Ireland and Swift Local Network in the UK will be running events between the 16th and 23rd of June to raise awarness of the species and the conservation issues they face. A full list of events will be published soon.
Take a look at our seasonal Swift Blog: LifeOnTheWing
BirdWatch IrelandSwift Evening Events 2018 (May)
* Events are free, and everyone is welcome. No experience required!
The Swift Conservation Project gratefully acknowledges advice received from the Northern Ireland Swift Group and Swift Conservation Ireland