8 thoughts on “GMIT Swifts Cams are live for 2019

  1. Watching Box 1 Sunday 12th 21:50 noticed Swift very irritated by at least 2 Crateagus near it’s eye. Hard to watch! Is there access to these boxes and can anything be done to help a Swift in this sort of situation or does nature take it’s course? Can these lice be removed, and how, in any situation i.e. if an injured bird is being re-habilitated and found to have them? Would be interested to know a little more about these parasites and their effect. Thankyou.

  2. Hi Lesley Anne, yes the live stream certainly means that we see everything even the hard to watch things. We would not interfere with the nest boxes for several reasons a) it’s illegal to disturb birds at the nest site b) it would mean hiring a cherry picker as the boxes are around 5m above ground level and this would disturb the birds c) Swifts don’t take well to being disturbed at the nest site and may abandon d) all the nest boxes are very close and we could disturb other pairs. If I rehabilitate a grounded bird then I do remove them and any other parasites. If you look on http://www.commonswift.org there’s a list of scientific papers and some relate to the cratearina. Every season we do see some on the birds but they don’t seem to cause a problem usually. They are on the birds all year and there’s an interesting video clip on youtube of a ‘banger’ exploring a box and a craterina jumping off the bird into the box as the bird is hanging on to the entrance. So the short answer is that we let nature take it’s course. Thank you for watching the live stream. So far we have 3 pairs back and 5 other birds awaiting their mate. Regards Lynda

  3. Thankyou, Lynda, interesting subject. We have a small Swift conservation group here in West Cumria and have just had our first successful nest box take-up so anything of this sort interests me.

    Lesley Anne

  4. Hi I have been watching your boxes this year to try and learn as I am trying to get my own flock started, but with this being the second year I have yet to get any takers. I have had swifts flying past the boxes and showing interest which is something I suppose, as I never saw swifts over my village until I used a call last year. My boxes now number 25 so lots of choice for them. How ever I go off to Spain towards the end of June for two months, so don’t really know what’s gone on in July this year. Getting back to your flock I couldn’t help but notice how restless swifts are and how several eggs were lost down the side of the nest trays. Me being a carpenter I wanted to make some spline which would fit down the edges so the eggs could roll against them or better still glue some rope around the edge as this would be softer if the eggs rolled against it! I used rope to form nesting circles in my boxes and they looked quite good. Anyway unless any younger birds have laid claim to any of my boxes, I must hope for better things next year. Here’s wishing you a good year also next May. John

  5. Hi John,

    Good to hear from you. It normally takes at least 3 years to get swifts to take to nest boxes and can even take longer if there are few 3 year olds around (3 is around the age they become sexually mature and start looking to breed). When we set up the GMIT project we included nest moulds but no longer do that in our projects. We are studying the problem with eggs being knocked out and find that it tends to be done by inexperienced birds. We will block up the little gap with strips of cork over the winter. We decided against using rope in case the swift claws got hooked in it. Fingers crossed that you get swifts in your boxes soon. Hope you are enjoying watching the GMIT swifts in Castlebar. Best regards Lynda

  6. Hi,
    This year for the first time since our house was built (20 years ago) swifts have built nests, one on each side of the house. They have been very busy all summer, and appear to have raised a number of chicks, which look like they are almost ready to leave the nests. I had planned to repaint the house, but they arrived before I could do so. I hope to get it done when they leave. Any advice on how I protect the nests for next year?

  7. Hi Noreen, your message has only just come to my attention. I realise that it’s nearly a year ago. The nests you describe are house martins – they make a mud nest under the eaves. Hope they returned for you this year. Best regards Lynda

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