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.

For more information about swift behaviour, click below:

Arrow Migration     Arrow Nesting

Arrow Send us your Swift Sightings

What can YOU do to
help the swifts of Dorset?

Are you an architect, planner, developer or builder looking to incorporate swift features into a new build or refurbishment? Or, perhaps you are a homeowner who wants to encourage swifts to nest around your home?

Click on the relevant advice sheets below for further information on how to provide for swifts:

Arrow Choosing & Installing
Swift Nest Boxes
Arrow Installing Built-in Swift Nest Features

Roof Repairs & Re-Roofing
with Swifts in Mind


Swift Decline

© Erich Kaiser courtesy of www.swift-conservation.org

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:

Arrow Funding and grants to refurbish decaying historic buildings
Arrow Conversion of old warehouses and factories into apartments and offices
Arrow Up-grading of social housing
Arrow  Demolition of old buildings
Click for enlarged map

This map shows swift records from across Dorset from the RSPB’s Swift Inventory 2009. Our towns show the healthiest populations of swifts with Bridport, Dorchester, Weymouth, Sherborne, Blandford, Poole and Bournemouth with the greatest concentrations.

To see The Swift Report, a summary of the data collated in 2010 and up-to-date maps of swift distribution in Dorset, please click here

Photo Credits:
(Top) © Erich Kaiser courtesy of www.swift-conservation.org 
(Bottom) Swift Inventory 2009 Dorset Map - RSPB - by kind permission of Ordnance Survey





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