herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Campus bid to boost number of swifts

THE number of swifts in Ireland has fallen by 50pc.

The major drop in bird figures is partly due to stricter building regulations, says the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) Green Campus Committee.

However, they have now taken steps to boost the population of one of Dublin's most popular city birds.

In the newly-opened DIT Grangegorman campus 'swift boxes' are being installed to give the birds a home during their visits to Ireland.

According to Bird Watch Ireland, swifts are listed as a conservation concern with an amber rating. The next listing, which indicates the highest concern, is a red rating.

The swift (inset) visits here between May and September and can be seen in urban areas throughout Ireland.

The DIT committee held a meeting on the issue last Thursday night to highlight their initiative and the plight of the declining swift population.

RTE Radio 1's Mooney Goes Wild regular, Eric Dempsey, spoke at the event.

The swift is one of the fastest-flying birds in Ireland.

nest

They spend virtually all of their life airborne and are rarely seen resting on wires like many other birds.

While they only spend around three months a year here, with them wintering in Africa, the swift breeds in Ireland.

They will nest in small recesses in buildings and the new regulations in the construction sector seem to have contributed to their decline.

jfegan@herald.ie

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