Swift Solutions - Conserving Dorset's Swifts
A Swift Introduction
The spectacular aerial acrobatics and elfin screams of the swift are a familiar sound of summer. Long scythe-like wings, a sooty brown colour and a short forked tail distinguish the swift from its similar looking counterparts, the swallow and the martins. The behaviour of the swift is also unique, spending the majority of their life in the air, feeding, drinking and even mating on the wing. They are rarely seen perching on wires or fences, unlike swallows and house martins.
A problem that often arises in each of these cases is refurbishment or rebuilding to ‘modern standards’. This often entails sealed roofs, walls and eaves; a general lack of space for swifts to nest in.
The number of breeding swifts in the south west has fallen by around 40% since the 1990s. This alarming decline is thought to be owing to a number of factors, all closely related:
Funding and grants to refurbish decaying historic buildings
Conversion of old warehouses and factories into apartments and offices
Up-grading of social housing
Demolition of old buildings
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