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Common Swift - Garden Birds of the British Isles

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          Glossary
(Linnaeus 1758) (Linnaeus 1758)
Apodiiformes - Apodidea Apodiiformes - Apodidea
Common Swift - Apus apus Common Swift - Apus apus
(Linnaeus 1758) (Linnaeus 1758)
Apodiiformes - Apodidea Apodiiformes - Apodidea
Common Swift - Apus apus Common Swift - Apus apus

Common Swift:

UK Status: Summer resident, overwintering in Africa, migrating back and forth each year (approximately) a total of 6800 miles. Swifts return to the UK from late April to early June, depending on latitude, and seasonal conditions. They leave for Africa again in late summer, or early autumn.

Habitat: The Common Swift exists on every continent in the world, with the exception of the far north and south, and some Islands. They inhabit anywhere their is a sufficient supply of insects, and suitable nesting sites. They are very long lived, and can reach 20 years of age, spending at least 90% of this time on the wing, in flight.

Breeding: This bird makes it's nest on vertical surfaces, such as high walls, and rock faces. Some choose to use a cavity space in rock faces, or human buildings. These birds have extremely short weak legs, and use these high places to get airborne again. Nests are almost basically upside down domes, with a small entrance they are made from the birds own saliva. Their eggs are quite elongated, and two, or three matte white eggs are laid in a clutch.

Comment: This bird is fairly well distributed throughout the UK, where ever their are older buildings, or suitable rock faces. It is becoming scarcer, but that is still reversible, see below.

 

NOTE: There is much concern over this birds continued existence in the British Isles, numbers have drastically declined over the last few decades. Most of their problem in the UK is loss of suitable habitat due to modern building techniques. Conservationists are lobbying the government to make special 'Swift Bricks', to be compulsory used by law in modern buildings as they are erected. Many of these conservation groups are offering Swift nesting boxes to be attached to your buildings, or consider installing Swift Bricks. We have a thriving colony here in Pudsey, that was established decades ago. I hope to get some better pictures as the summer progresses.

 

(Linnaeus 1758) (Linnaeus 1758) (Linnaeus 1758) (Linnaeus 1758)
Apodiiformes - Apodidea Apodiiformes - Apodidea Apodiiformes - Apodidea Apodiiformes - Apodidea
Common Swift - Apus apus Common Swift - Apus apus Common Swift - Apus apus Common Swift - Apus apus

 

 

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