GMIT – Mayo Swiftcams

In 2012, 4 triple entrance Schwegler 17A Swift nest boxes were installed at GMIT in Castlebar providing 12 nest sites. 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. Cameras are now being recorded onto digital video recorders 24/7. Apologies for any disappointment in layout and quality we will try to improve this if possible.

Swift entering nest box
Swift entering nest box at GMIT Mayo Campus in Castlebar –  © Martin Leak
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Camera 1 – Box 12 and then changed to Box 18

12 June 2021 : This pair are still not bringing in nest material but are spending each night in the nest box. We’ll have to wait and see if they do breed this year. 2 July 2021 : We have put Box 18 on this stream so that we can see the progress this new pair make. They have already made a very nice nest and we hope they will lay eggs in the coming week. 13 July 2021 : Looks like they won’t lay eggs this year. They are a new pair this year so must be getting to know each other and setting up a nice home ready for breeding next year! 15 September : There was one single bird spending the night in this nest box in August until 22nd which was the last night it spent there. The season is now over and we hope a pair will nest in this box in 2022.

Multiscreen 1 – Boxes 13 to 17 newly installed in 2019

12 June 2021 : We now have an established pair in Box 18 and they are starting to build a nest but we are not sure if they will lay eggs this year or just prepare a nest. It’s interesting that this is an ‘end of terrace’ nest box which swifts seem to prefer. There is also a single bird in Box 15 who hasn’t yet found a mate. 2 July 2021 : We have moved Box 18 to Camera 1 position so that we get a better view of this new pair. There is a new pair in Box 15 and they are building a nest. A bird occasionally visits the other nest boxes. 13 July 2021 : The new pair in Box 15 built up the nest but they now appear to have left for the year and will be flying until they return next year – to breed. 15 September : There was one single bird in Box 15 in August. The last night it spent there was 23 August. The season is now over and we hope a pair will nest in Box 15 in 2022.

Multiscreen 2 – Boxes 1 to 12 (Box 1 is top left and 12 is bottom right)

2 July 2021 : You can now see all 12 of the original nest boxes. There are 3 well grown chicks in Box 9. There was a fight in Box 6 on 30 June which started at 9pm and carried on all night to the next morning. It appears that the intruder won the fight and has knocked off the egg and has paired with the remaining bird. They may lay eggs in the next week. There are small chicks in boxes 2 and 7. 13 July 2021 : All 12 boxes are now occupied. Box 1 has 1 small chick, Box 2 has 2 chicks, Box 3 is a new pair that only got together at end of June. Box 4 has 2 eggs, Box 5 has 1 chick, Box 6 there was a fight on 30 June with an intruder and the egg was knocked off the nest so they won’t breed this year. Box 7 has 1 chick, Box 8 has 1 chick, Box 9 has 3 well grown chicks that will fledge around 3rd week of July, Box 10 new pair not going to breed this year, Box 11 has 2 chicks, Box 12 had 1 egg that they knocked off the nest last week and they now won’t breed this year. 15 September : All the birds have now gone. The last bird to leave was the chick from Box 5 which fledged on 26 August. It was a good season with 13 chicks successfully fledging from these 12 occupied nest boxes. A breakdown box by box is as follows : Box 1 = 2 chicks, Box 2 = 2 chicks, Box 3 = new pair no chicks, Box 4 = 2 small chicks died when one of the parents went missing after a thunderstorm and the remaining adult couldn’t cope on its own, Box 5 = 1 chick, Box 6 = eggs lots following a 12 hour fight with an intruder, Box 7 = 1 chick, Box 8 = 2 chicks, Box 9 = 3 chicks, Box 10 = didn’t breed this year, Box 11 = 2 chicks, Box 12 – eggs knocked off nest and didn’t breed. We look forward to an even better season in 2022.