Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Concern over swift numbers prompts nationwide survey

Fears that one of summer’s more familiar sights and sounds could be becoming scarcer have prompted calls for help from the public in a new nationwide survey. The RSPB believes that Common Swifts could be declining in numbers and is asking for details of birds nesting in homes or neighbourhoods across the country.

Since the earliest human occupation of Britain, swifts have been living alongside man: first in caves; then on castles and churches; and finally in our homes. Concern over their fortunes is being linked to the possibility that renovation and development of older buildings may be evicting the species from some locations in which it formerly thrived.

The RSPB’s Darren Moorcroft said: “There is some evidence that the Swift has declined across the UK, but we really need people’s help to understand more about where this bird still occurs.”

The online questionnaire will ask people to state whether swifts are nesting on properties or whether people have heard swift ‘screaming parties’ around their properties. To take part in the survey click here.

Photo: Steve Young