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Swifts need our help!

“Spring comes little, a little. All April it rains.

The new leaves stick in their fists; new ferns still fiddleheads.

But one day the swifts are back. Face to the sun like a child

You shout, 'The swifts are back!'” 

 

From ‘Swifts’ by Anne Stevenson


Much written about in poetry and prose, the dark scythe-winged silhouettes of Swifts wheeling about in a blue sky is a magical sight, their arrival signalling the beginning of summer.


After a 3,400-mile flight back from spending winter in Africa, Swifts have one thing on their



minds – to mate. Swifts pair for life, returning to the same site each year for a little nest renovation before laying and incubating their eggs. Swifts like to nest amongst us, living in houses and churches, squeezing through tiny gaps to nest inside roofs. But as more old buildings are renovated and gaps in soffits closed up, Swift nest sites are fast disappearing. This, in part, resulted in Swifts being added to the red list in the 2021 UK Conservation Status Report. Red is the highest conservation priority, with species on this list needing urgent action.


By installing a Swift brick in a wall, or putting up a nest box, you could give a Swift a place to rest and raise a family.  Hanley Castle Parish Council and the RSPB are sponsoring a scheme to install nest boxes on houses in the parish.


This is a simple and easy way to help one of our best-loved birds.  If you would like to have a nest box installed on your house, please contact hanleyhabitats2020@gmail.com or the Parish Clerk,  by 17th May.

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