Friday 23 August 2019

Lend your help to Swift survey

Swift surveys are being held across the county until the end of August
Swift surveys are being held across the county until the end of August

Since May of this year, BirdWatch Ireland (BWI) has been undertaking a swift survey of County Sligo. The survey is being undertaken to halt the decline in Sligo's swift population.

The key focus of the survey is to know how many swifts there are in the county and where they nest in our towns and villages.

To date, Swifts have been found in about a third of the county's towns and villages, including; Ballymote, Ballysadare, Carney, Castlebaldwin, Collooney, Culfadda, Dromore West, Keash, Mullaghmore, Sligo, Sooey and Tubbercurry. As part of the survey, Birdwatch Ireland are also reaching out to local communities.

The support and active engagement of local communities is critical to building greater awareness of this unique bird species and in undertaking conservation action where it is needed.

If your community or Tidy Towns Group would like to get more information or get involved in swift conservation in Sligo, please contact Ricky Whelan (BWI Project Officer on 087 -783 2545).

Swifts are a small migratory bird that visit Ireland each year to nest. They travel from southern Africa where they have spent nine months of the year. Their future is seriously threatened in Ireland due to loss of nesting sites and suitable feeding habitats. From May to August each year, you will usually hear swifts before you see them, their distinctive piercing 'screaming' call is uttered on the wing as they fly superbly over roof tops at high speed.

The Sligo Swift Survey continues from May to the end of August 2019, however July will be a critical survey period as the swifts continue to feed their young in the nests and it is still possible to identify nest sites in buildings. By August, the swifts will be leaving and returning south, so it will be increasingly difficult to survey for swift nest sites in buildings. If you have a sighting please let the BWI survey team know by emailing, which is greatly appreciated.

Sligo Champion