Felixstowe Nature Reserve: Support Our Swifts!

The latest estimates from the British Trust for Ornithology suggest that swifts will be returning to the UK in the first week of May. Felixstowe’s Community Nature Reserve is therefore helping local people to support these wonderful little birds.

If you haven’t already got a nesting box for swifts on your house, you can buy a good one from the RSPB. Alternatively, you may wish to make your own nesting box. You’ll find easy-to-follow design instructions on our Facebook page. If you already have a nesting box for swifts, this would be a
really good time to make sure that it is clean and safely secured to your eaves.

When you’ve done that, please encourage your family, friends and neighbours to do the same!

Whatever you choose to do to help swifts, their populations are indeed falling fast. According to the RSPB, the number of breeding pairs fell by almost 50% over the last 10 years. That means that our grandchildren, nieces and nephews might never have the pleasure of seeing and hearing swifts as they scream through our skies. We must therefore do whatever we can to support our swifts.

Apart from having their populations in serious decline, swifts are completely fascinating. Did you know that they are the fastest bird in the world in level flight? Their maximum speed in level flight, which has been scientifically measured, is 69.3mph.

Did you also know that the colouring of swifts varies according to where they prefer to live? Swifts that live in wetter areas tend to have darker colouring than swifts that prefer drier habitats. Swifts come to visit us each year between early May and early August. They are related to hummingbirds. They have also evolved in quite different ways from most other birds. They began their distinctive evolutionary path about 70 million years ago.

Written By Dr Adrian Cooper

For more information about Felixstowe’s Community Nature
Reserve and the work we’re doing to support local populations
of swifts and other wildlife, please visit our Facebook page:

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