BirdWatch Ireland in partnership with Roscommon County Council Heritage Office will host a FREE online Swift Community Conservation Webinar on May 19th at 07:30pm, as part of Biodiversity Week 2022. The webinar will cover all aspects of Swifts life story and how to get going with a Swift nest box project to help the species in your local area.

 

Perhaps the most iconic and intriguing of our urban bird species, Swifts are a small migratory bird that visits Ireland each year to nest. They travel from southern Africa where they have spent over eight months of the year. Swifts have adapted to nesting in cavities where found in buildings in our cities, towns, and villages. Their future is seriously threatened in Ireland due primarily to the loss of nesting sites.  From May to August each year you can encounter Swifts, you will usually hear Swifts before you see them, their distinctive ‘screaming’ call is uttered on the wing as they fly superbly over rooftops at high speed.

 

However, the good news is that there is a lot that can be done to halt the decline in Roscommon’s Swift population, knowing how many Swifts there are and where they nest in our towns and villages is the first step.  The support and active engagement of local communities is critical to building greater awareness of this unique bird species and in undertaking conservation action where it is most needed. In summer 2020, BirdWatch Ireland conducted a County Swift Survey in Roscommon. The survey coverage included 40 towns and villages in the county, but nesting Swifts were only found to be active in 11 of these localities. Across the entire county, 117 nests were located and mapped in buildings throughout the towns and villages. Some towns such as Rosscommon, Boyle and Carrick-on-Shannon showed good populations of Swifts but there were few to none in the remaining localities.

 

Across Ireland, Tidy Towns groups, community groups and interested individuals are playing a vital role in Swift conservation by undertaking projects to directly help conserve Swifts in their localities.

BirdWatch Ireland has already completed Swift Surveys in thirteen counties (Laois, Offaly, Westmeath, Tipperary, Meath, Wicklow, Sligo, Roscommon, Leitrim, Clare, Waterford, Kilkenny and Dublin). It is hoped that communities and individuals in these areas will follow-up on what is learned through this work by taking direct conservation actions for Swifts in their respective communities in the months and years to come.

 

To find out more about Swifts and how you and your community can give them a helping hand join the event during this Biodiversity Week (May 14th – 21st) when BirdWatch Ireland will host an online Community Swift Conservation Webinar, at 07:30pm on May 19th 2022.  

Tune in for the webinar:

The event will be live streamed on the BirdWatch Ireland Facebook page. The BirdWatch Ireland Facebook page can be accessed at www.facebook.com/BirdWatchIreland/

And the BirdWatch Ireland YouTube Channel here: www.youtube.com/user/BirdWatchIreland

You can also download the Saving Swifts guide free from the BirdWatch Ireland Website here: https://birdwatchireland.ie/publications/saving-swifts-guide/

 

If you would like more information, please email swifts@birdwatchireland.ie

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