Room at the top: woman races to help swifts blocked from Sheffield roofs

15. červenece 2022 13:30


Band of volunteers now assist surveying homes so that re-roofing and scaffolding does not disrupt beloved birds' nestingWhen Chet Cunago heard that scaffolding was blocking swifts from entering their ancestral nests in the eaves of homes in Sheffield, she raced into action.After frantic calls to the council, charities and fellow nature lovers, she got the scaffold boards removed and assembled a volunteer group to search for overlooked swift nests in all the council houses scheduled for renovation in Handsworth.Erect a swift box, which costs ?30-?100 depending on size. Local swift groups can help advise on installation or roofers and aerial installers can help. South-facing eaves are often too hot for the nests.Site-faithful swifts are notoriously difficult to attract to new nest boxes but playing swift calls from an adjacent window can work. Swift Conservation sells automatic MP3 players with swift calls for ?22. And even if the box isn't adopted by swifts, it will certainly be used by other birds.Drilling holes into plastic soffits and adding dividers inside is a cheap and unobtrusive way to make a modern house swift-friendly. Add swift bricks (?25) to any new extensions.Join a local swift group and help survey nest sites - there will almost certainly be a swift group in your nearest city or town. When more swift nest sites are known about, they can be protected.Join campaigns for swift bricks to be fitted in every new home. Alert developers, councils, housing associations and architects to the issue.Grounded swifts can usually get airborne again, so if you find a grounded swift it may be immature (it can only fly if its wings are at least 16cm long) or ill. Put it in a warm box, give it water by running a wetted cotton bud around the edge of its beak, avoiding the nostrils, and call a local swift rescuer. A full list of swift rescuers can be found here. Continue reading...


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