Swifts have been featured heavily in the conservation spotlight in recent years. They face an increasingly hostile environment as the UK has moved away from building designs with exposed eaves and gables, leaving this iconic summer species with ever-fewer options for nesting sites. Fortunately, the emphasis placed on their plight has led to widespread awareness among developers and homeowners across the country, and swift boxes are now a common sight. They provide an excellent place not only for swifts but for a wide variety of vulnerable small bird species.
This double swift box, designed to fit under the eaves of a building, provides dual internal cavities that are perfect spaces for two breeding pairs. It is built with entrance holes on the bottom to allow easy fly-in access, and a notched ramp to help with landing and take-off. The material is 18mm spruce plywood sourced from renewably managed forests, and all adhesives are non-toxic, water based, and as environmentally friendly as possibly. Good ventilation and thick ply ensure that the box remains cool during the summer, and spruce's naturally fungus and insect repellent qualities help prevent degradation and deter pests. The box also comes two lockable front maintenance flaps to access each chamber separately, making it easy to clean once the swifts have departed.
The Under-Eaves Swift Nest Box comes with a hanging plate which can be affixed to the wall before the box is mounted. The box is then hung from the pre-attached plate. This has the dual advantage of being secure and safe for both the inhabitants and anybody passing underneath whilst also allowing the box to be positioned as close to the eaves as possible.
Swifts usually arrive in the UK during May, so it's a good idea to get the box sited before then. Boxes should be fixed at least five metres above the ground (preferably as tight under the eaves as possible) and in a location that ensures a clear flight path for swifts to access the entrance hole. The box should also be placed in a position that protects it from the midday sun and preferably from the worst of the wet weather. It is important to ensure that it is not accessible to predators such as cats and squirrels.
It is advisable to clean out nest boxes during October/November. Any unhatched eggs should be removed and boiling water can be used to effectively kill fleas and parasites.
Dimensions: 75cm x 21cm x 17cm + 9.5cm for landing strip