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Swift Boxes

 
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Benn



Joined: 18 May 2011
Posts: 287
Location: Rossendale, Lancs

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:39 pm    Post subject: Swift Boxes Reply with quote

Anyone ever tried Swift boxes? I did a search and found a short thread from 2011 but none since.

I read an article in the Guardian on Tuesday https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/17/country-diary-metamorphosis-swifts-oxford-university-museum-tower they mentioned a book published in 1956 written by a couple of naturalists. It is called "Swifts in a Tower" and this couple studied swifts in a tower at Oxford university in the 40's and 50's. I have not been able to put this book down since it arrived yesterday. It is well written and totally engrossing.

I am going to fit some swift boxes at the back of the house under the west facing soffits next month. I will fit cameras in each but I am not sure how many boxes but I might be able to accomodate perhaps seven. I have found this excellent site http://www.bristolswifts.co.uk/swift-nest-box-design/ from a Bristol based enthusiast who has experiemented with designs this past 7 years.

When we moved to this house in 1995 there were dozens of Swifts nesting in a nearby Victorian factory in the eaves. Unfortunately it suffered a major fire and the roof was redone and the old entrances were no more. Some moved to a another similar factory a few hundred yards down the road but the numbers declined to two or three pairs. This factory roof is also now being refurbished so they might be excluded from their homes again from next year. I just hope the builders do not disturb the current nests as the chicks will be just about ready to fledge anytime now.

I found out one has to use a speaker system to play Swift calls from nearby the boxes to initially attract them and it could take several seasons to get a nesting pair.

Sorry about the waffling but I am quite excited about this new venture.
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WildlifePaul



Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 1720
Location: Liverpool

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Always wanted to try swift boxes, We had a pair nesting next door for many years in a hole under the eves, When next door got the roof done the hole was covered, But still plenty of swifts in my area so these is always something I wanted to try, Because like you said I hear its hard to attract them because they stay loyal to nesting sites.
Will be interesting if you have success Benn straight away, If you do I think I'll invest in one for 2020.
I'll be looking for them updates next year already now! Wishing a year away what are we like? Laughing Roll on the floor laughing

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Benn



Joined: 18 May 2011
Posts: 287
Location: Rossendale, Lancs

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will do Paul.

Cannot decide whether to build my own using Mark Glanvilles designs (Bristol Swifts) or buy ready made. As I need a few I think the cost will point towards the former.

My only reservation is that my back house soffit level might not be high enough but realistically this is the only place I can site them unless I evict the four house Martin nests at the front of the house (three storeys here) which isn't going to happen Very Happy

Our garden is raised by about a metre from about two metres from our back door as we are built into a hillside and I know they prefer elevated sites. But my research shows they do nest as low as 1.5 metres. I was going to fit 7 or 8 boxes but I think I will start with 5 just to see if I can attract some.

I will probably fit simply black and white cameras as the insides of the boxes need to be painted black as these birds prefer darker nest sites.

Lots more thinking and research to do! Smile
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WildlifePaul



Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 1720
Location: Liverpool

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Benn,
You tried Ebay?
This looks like one of the designs off the site
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/solid-timber-Nesting-Box/113126988741?hash=item1a56e4dbc5:g:ShAAAOSwuhhXU0BS
£18:45 plus free delivery for 1 box, Alot cheaper than most the swift boxes you can get off birding sites, Plus if you wanted say 2 or more you can make an offer for them and maybe get them a little cheaper
Just a little idea incase you didn't want spend time making them.

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