Swifts are one of our more iconic summer residents, making the epic journey from central Africa to breed in the UK every year. They nest traditionally in the eaves and gables of large buildings, but these features are increasingly inaccessible in modern builds. This is likely, in part, responsible for the serious decline in the number of swifts that visit our shores each year. Developers are increasingly aware of the need to provide artificial nesting areas to mitigate the impact of newer designs, and an excellent and cost-effective way of doing this is through the provision of nesting boxes.
This attractive timber box, suitable for swifts and other small birds, features an innovative design with an entry hole on the underside, complemented by a notched landing ramp. It is constructed from 18mm spruce plywood sourced from renewably managed forests, and all adhesives are non-toxic, water-based, and as environmentally friendly as possible. 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 occupancy by unfavourable pests. The box also comes with a lockable front maintenance flap, 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 and 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 LxWxH: 38cm x 21cm x 17cm + 9.5cm for landing strip