Calling all swifts

Calling all swifts

photo: Josh Hellon

How we are using calls to attract swifts at our Cambourne office

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Swifts are now arriving back in the UK and need somewhere to nest. Suitable sites for nesting are disappearing all the time, as old buildings are demolished or refurbished. 

We realised that the workshop at our Cambourne office was a great place to put up some nest boxes and try to encourage some swifts to a new site. There is a high wall that allowed us to install the boxes above 4.5m - an essential requirement for swifts. The position will also allow fledging birds to fly away clearly, without hitting trees or overhead wires. 

Our building didn't have any eaves, so we chose a sloping-roofed design that can potentially be installed on any building. In this case we used the Model 30 design from the excellent Action for Swifts website. You can see from the photo that this box has a circular wooden nest form inside - this structure gives the swifts a headstart when they start to build a nest.


To help attract swifts the boxes, we decided to install a small speaker that plays recordings of the birds from dawn until dusk. This considered an essential factor in attracting swifts to a new site. You can find out how to construct your own on the Action for Swifts site.

We will be keeping an eye on the boxes over the coming months to see whether they are being used. If you would like to have updates on any new residents, you can join our facebook group.