In 2012, 4 triple entrance Schwegler 17A Swift nest boxes were installed at GMIT in Castlebar providing 12 nest sites of which 10 are now occupied. In 2019, an additional 2 triple boxes were installed providing another 6 nest boxes and giving a total of 18 nest sites.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions at the GMIT Mayo Campus there have had to be some changes to the livestream in order to facilitate the Masters Research on the swifts breeding biology. The cameras are now being recorded onto digital video recorders to enable recording 24/7 from nest sites, which means all cameras are now on a multi-screen set up. Apologies for any disappointment in layout and quality we will try to improve this if possible.
25 August 2020 : The season is coming to a close. Last night, in Box 12 there was 1 chick still to fledge and its parents. Overview of the year : Box 1 one bird of the original pair went missing, the remaining bird found a new partner and they have eggs and they had one chick; Box 2 had 2 chicks; Box 3 a new pair didn’t breed; Box 4 is a new pair didn’t breed; Box 5 lost two clutches of eggs and didn’t breed; Box 6 a new pair formed this year and didn’t breed; Box 7 reared 2 chicks; Box 8 lost 2 clutches and didn’t breed; Box 9 reared 2 chicks: Box 10 had 2 chicks but one died very early on so 1 chick reared; Box 11 reared 2 chicks; Box 12 had 2 chicks, one fledged a few days ago and the remaining chick will fledge soon. Total : 11 chicks fledged so far with one to fledge soon. In 2019 there were 13 fledged chicks and we hoped for an improvement this year but it wasn’t an easy year with cool temperatures in July, the peak feeding period.
25 August 2020 : This is a new nest box set up in 2019. A pair was roosting in there for several weeks and we hope they’ll return next year to breed.
25 August 2020 : These 5 boxes were installed in Spring 2019. We did not include nest moulds but provided a few feathers because we want to observe how successfully the swifts will build their own nests from nest material gathered in flight. All of the boxes were visited by single birds and pairs so we’ll have to wait for 2021 to see which boxes have been chosen for breeding. Last night there was still a bird roosting in Box 15.