A NEW project by a recently formed environmental group in Bandon is hoping to increase the number of swifts by installing five swift boxes on or adjacent to McSwiney Quay.
Bandon Environmental Action Group (BEAG) in partnership with the West Cork branch of Birdwatch Ireland arranged for the two treble boxes and three doubles to be installed in buildings in the area.
A spokesperson for BEAG said that swift numbers have been in serious decline globally and that it is due to the decline in the absence of suitable nest sites due to modern building techniques.
‘Swifts depend largely on nooks and crannies in old buildings to breed but spend almost all of their lives, outside of breeding in the air.’
‘The project could not have happened without the generous co-operation of proprietors in the town including McLoughlin’s Pharmacy, O’Donovan’s Family Grocers and the Bandon Methodist Church.’
The group also thanked Ward and Burke construction for kindly agreeing to install the boxes.
During their lives the birds fly about two million miles and their annual migration is a 14,00 mile round trip and they can live for at least 21 years. To make their nest they catch bits from the air like feather, leaves, dandelion clocks and dry grass and they stick it together with their saliva. After they leave the nest they keep flying for two to three years until they are ready to find a partner.
‘Thankfully the boxes are all up in time for the arrival of our summer visitors who fly about 7,000 miles to be with us each year.’