Swift nesting sites 'hit by home improvements' 雨燕巢受房屋維修影響

Swift nesting sites 'hit by home improvements' 雨燕巢受房屋維修影響


From : BBC News 16Mar2010

Swift nesting sites 'hit by home improvements'

A UK-wide survey of nesting swifts has suggested the declining bird species is at risk from improvement work being undertaken on old houses.

The RSPB study of more than 3,400 swift nest sites found nearly 80% were on houses, more than half of which were homes built before 1919.

It is not known why the birds are in decline, but numbers have fallen by almost a third in the past decade.

The charity says building work should not be done while swifts are nesting.

The birds tend to return to the same nesting sites each year and the RSPB said it was concerned the birds were suffering as a result of demolition and improvement works.

More than half the sites located in the survey had been known nesting places for swifts for more than 10 years, and about one in six spots was under threat, the RSPB said.

Emma Teuten, the RSPB's data management officer, said: "These are birds that don't touch down for two years or more after they first leave the nest - we need to make sure they have a safe, secure nest site to settle in when they come down to breed themselves."

Sarah Niemann, RSPB species recovery officer, said: "The scream of the swift marks the start of summer for many people. To think that we are losing them at such a fast rate is devastating.

"It was imperative that we find out exactly where they nest, so that efforts to help them can be effectively targeted."

Swifts make their nests in holes in buildings from where they can launch themselves back onto the wing as they cannot take off from the ground.

Their nests are protected by law while they are in use, so work on homes with nesting swifts should be done before they arrive in mid-May or after they leave in mid-August, the RSPB said.

The charity is appealing to the public for help spotting nests and talking to local councils and developers about how to retain and replace nest sites.

[ Last edited by Sze at 21/03/2010 02:28 ]


From BBC News 21Jun2009

Repairs 'affecting' swift numbers

Demolition works and repairs to properties are affecting the swift population, conservationists say.

The RSPB said numbers of the bird, which visits from Africa and nests almost exclusively in buildings, have declined by 47% in the past decade.

The charity wants the public to report sightings so it can build up a picture of where the birds are found and target conservation work in those areas.

The RSPB said swifts were "perfect, quiet neighbours".

The wildlife charity is also offering advice to the building industry and homeowners on how to do renovation work without stopping swifts, which nest in colonies, from successfully rearing their young.

Sarah Niemann, species recovery officer for the RSPB, said the reasons for the decline in numbers of migrant bird were not entirely clear.

Nesting problems

She added: "We do know there appears to be a problem with nest sites in this country.

"There may be a variety of stresses on these birds, but certainly there has been a big trend in this country in making houses look smart."

She said efforts to prevent rot and decay and make houses more airtight was good for maintaining properties "but can unwittingly make it difficult for swifts that cause no bother at all".

She also said swifts were "perfect, quiet neighbours", which build nests next to the entrance hole of the nest site, meaning they do not get into the roof space.

The RSPB is urging any householders who need repair work carried out on roofs or faschias to make new nest access holes to match the old ones at the same spot.

[ Last edited by Sze at 17/03/2010 02:10 ]


From : BBC News 8 May 2009

DIY threatens swift nesting sites

Sussex's breeding population of swifts is "falling fast" as redevelopment and DIY work deny them nesting sites in old buildings, a bird society has said.

The Sussex Ornithological Society (SOS) said the county's population dropped by more than half between 1994 and 2007.

The SOS is asking people to "spare a thought for swifts" when renovating old buildings or designing new ones.

Swifts fly 7,000 miles from Africa to nest in wall cavities and roof spaces in the UK during the summer months.

A spokesperson for the Sussex Ornithological Society said: "Swifts are a welcome feature of the Sussex summer, and we must do what we can to help to maintain a healthy breeding population."

The society suggested that swift-friendly features could be incorporated into buildings and stressed this was particularly important at or near existing nests.

Possible measures included building swift nesting bricks into walls, putting up 'swift-only' nest boxes, and providing access to roof spaces.

Swifts feed, sleep and mate in the air, only landing at their nesting sites.

Other species also affected by the trend of redevelopment and improvement include house sparrows, swallows and house martins.

[ Last edited by Sze at 17/03/2010 02:07 ]


From BBC News 19Jun2005

Swift response over bird decline

The RSPB has launched a national pilot survey in a Lincolnshire town to learn more about swift populations and tackle the decline in their numbers.

The group is concerned that a combination of home improvements and conversion of old buildings is destroying the nest sites of the birds.

It wants people in Boston to report where swifts are nesting and how many have been seen in flocks this summer.

The initiative could then be extended across the country.

A spokesperson for the RSPB said: "We would also like to get some idea of the numbers of swifts seen to use as a baseline to calculate declines in future years."

Survey forms can be downloaded from the organisation's website.


From BBC News 21May2003

Birds halt £90,000 school repairs

A £90,000 repair programme at a Carmarthenshire school has been brought to a halt by a pair of nesting swifts.

The birds have made their home in the eaves at Burry Port Junior School forcing contractors to down tools.

As scaffolding was being erected last week the county council was informed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) that the swifts were present and that it was illegal to disturb them.

Part of the playground has now been fenced off and will remain out of bounds to the 200 pupils until the job can be completed.

A meeting is taking place on Thursday to discuss the situation but is possible the project may not be able to resume until July.

It is estimated there are 80,000 pairs of swifts in the UK but their natural nesting habitats in holes in walls or under eaves are becoming fewer because of the modern design of buildings.

It was made illegal to disturb the nesting birds as part of the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act.

A spokesman for the RSPB said they were contacted by a member of the public as contractors arrived to start work.

Safety fencing

"We then informed Carmarthenshire Council about the birds," he added.

Essential maintenance had already been completed at the school six weeks ago but there is substantial work needed to some of the walls of the building.

A spokesman for the council said: "There is work needed to be carried out at Burry Port School.

"The funding is now in place and we are ready to begin work.

"Unfortunately it has had to be delayed following advice that birds are nesting there.

"Safety fencing has been put up and there is no danger to the children.

"A meeting is taking place on Thursday to discuss the situation."


For More information: RSPB Help Swifts   Website!


From The RSPB (16-03-2010)

Swift search a screaming success

A nationwide plea for swift sightings has revealed the critical role that Britain’s householders play in the future of this declining species.

Almost all swifts recorded were found nesting on buildings and over three quarters of them (77%), found nesting in houses.

The RSPB believes this means that home and business owners, builders and developers all play a fundamental role in protecting this species which has declined dramatically in recent years.

Thousands of people reported the unmistakable screams of swifts around their roofs last summer to the RSPB, or told the wildlife charity where they were actually nesting.

The RSPB wants to develop a detailed ‘inventory’ of specific locations that swifts are using to raise their families so they can focus efforts to help our rapidly declining swift population.

The results from the first year of data collection show that the swift strongholds are in older parts of our cities, towns and villages, although they will use new buildings too.

And for the first time, the results drill down the exact buildings they are nesting in and what sort of developments they use.

Of the houses where swifts were nesting:

- Over half (51%) were built before 1919

- Exactly a quarter were built between 1919-1944

- Over half (52%)had been known swift nesting sites for more than 10 years

- Almost a fifth (16%) were considered threatened

And almost 5% of swifts were recorded in churches, proving how ideal old buildings are as swift nesting sites. Many churches are undergoing preservation work which could unintentionally cause the loss of nesting sites, so church groups can help this fantastic bird too.

The remaining 20% of swifts were spotted in buildings like schools and flats.

Swift numbers have declined significantly in recent years. It’s not yet clear why, but the RSPB believes that many suffer as a result of the loss of nest sites through building improvement or demolition.

They nest almost exclusively on buildings, and one of the main action points will be for the RSPB and swift groups to speak to developers, local councils and building companies about how they can help retain or replace nest sites.

Swifts may be summer visitors but the RSPB is asking us to start preparing for their arrival in plenty of time. Their nests are protected by law whilst in use, so make sure you carry out any repair work or maintenance on your home before they arrive in mid-May, or after they leave in mid-August.

It’s really important to do whatever you can to keep any sites that swifts use intact, and in new buildings, new nest sites can easily be provided.

Sarah Niemann, RSPB Species Recovery Officer says: "The scream of the swift marks the start of the summer for many people. To think that we are losing them at such a fast rate is devastating.

"It was imperative that we find out exactly where they nest in the UK so that efforts to help them can be effectively targeted. This is the first time we’ve had swift data available on this scale, and it’s a great start.

"Now we want to continue building these records, which will make a huge difference to the future of swifts in the UK.

Emma Teuten, RSPB Data Management Officer, says: "Mapping the results has been a massive undertaking due to the huge numbers of people that took part.

"The results will enable us to do even more positive work to halt the decline of the swift and enthuse people to help the swift – such as those who actually have them living close by or may be planning that could affect existing nest sites.

"These are birds that don’t touch down for two years or more after they first leave the nest– we need to ensure they have a safe, secure nest site to settle in when they come down to breed themselves. Swifts are very site faithful, so once they move in, then the same site may be used for many, many years.

The full swift inventory results can be found at:

[ Last edited by Sze at 21/03/2010 02:26 ]