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Swift Conservation Project

Swift Conservation Project

Swift Conservation Project

The Common Swift Apus apus migrates north from Southern Africa each April to breed in Europe.  Around 15,000 Swifts come to breed in Ireland but this number has declined by over 40% in the last 15 years.

The Swift is an amber listed bird of conservation concern in Ireland due to the decline in the breeding population.
Swifts prefer to nest in high buildings, usually old buildings where they can get under the eaves or facia board to gain access to a ledge on top of a wall just under the roof line.   They are at risk of losing these nesting sites because when old buildings are renovated the new building techniques and materials used to make buildings energy efficient  prevent the birds from accessing nest sites. As buildings are replaced and renovated, Swifts find themselves excluded from nest sites and thus a population decline.

GMIT Mayo campus in Castlebar has established a Save Our Swifts Project and installed nest boxes for Swifts with the aim of providing  additional breeding sites for Swifts and to raise awareness.  You can see live-streaming from inside the nest boxes by visiting the GMIT website.

Most towns in Ireland house a population of Common Swifts.  Securing their future by protecting existing nest sites and providing new sites by erecting nest boxes is a very affordable and achievable project.  We would encourage all towns to help with saving Ireland’s Swifts.  

You can obtain a copy of the booklet “We are Swifts – We are in Trouble” by emailing

Environment, Climate Action & Agriculture Department

Second Floor, Mayo County Council
Áras an Chontae
The Mall
Phone: (094) 9024444
Contact Form: Online Complaints / Queries
Open: Opening Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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