A swift in flight.Photo: Micheál Casey

Claremorris town hall offers help to the common swift

THE dramatic decline in the numbers of common swifts nesting in Mayo was highlighted during Mayo Swift Week from June 29 to July 4, but Claremorris Town Hall is doing something about the problem.

There are currently only around 200 nesting pairs in the county, a decline of almost 50% in the last 20 years. This is mostly due to the loss of nesting sites when buildings are renovated. 

“We can halt this decline now by preserving traditional nest sites and installing nest boxes in suitable locations,” says Lynda Huxley of Swift Conservation Mayo.

With this in mind, Claremorris Town Hall has shown its support for the preservation of this truly amazing bird by installing three nest boxes on their building. In order to help the swifts find the boxes, attraction calls will be played when the birds are here to breed, from May to August.

Councillor John Cribbin performed the official switching on of the attraction calls, supported by the heritage officer with Mayo County Council, Deirdre Cunningham, and members of the community.

There are now 14 swift nest box projects around the county. You can visit www.swiftconservation.ie to find out where swifts are nesting in your town and to find out some stunning facts about this bird. 

During Mayo Swift Week, events were held in several parts of the county as a partnership between the Mayo County Council heritage office and Swift Conservation Mayo.