Posted 16th Mar 2016 by Peter Byrne
Would you like a housemate who is not only very clean, only stays 12 weeks per year and be helpful in keeping on top of mosquitoes and other flying insects?
This isn't a utopian dream - instead you may be one of the lucky few to host a swift this summer. Rebecca Pitman, RSPB Swift Cities Project Officer, said: “Swifts are a quintessential sign of summer. There’s nothing like seeing and hearing them soar over rooftops on a summer’s evening. They are charismatic, enigmatic and one of the fastest flying birds in the world. Swifts are only in the UK for three months of the year, from April to August, and make practically no mess where they nest, so they are the ideal tenants to have nesting in your roof. In fact, most people don’t even realise the swifts are there – the perfect kind of houseguest!”
However there is some worrying news regarding Swifts - they're declining at an alarming rate, a staggering 38% since 1995, making them an amber-listed species on the Birds of Conservation Concern. While the exact reason for the decline remains a mystery, Pitman believes that the: "loss of nest sites in the UK is at least partly responsible.”
Image courtesy of Getty / Getty Images News / Tim Graham