Thanks Paul for all the details about swifts, like Kathy, I didn't know too much about them at all. Good luck with all the work ahead of you & I really hope that they will use it this year as you do deserve it, always helping all birds around your area.
You say that this will be your final camera box No. 10 - are you absolutely sure about that?!
Diane - Scared of flying birds, but can handle frogs if necessary!
woodstone swift box / CD of calls came today, I have taken the front off and glued some feathers into the circle nest mould that is on the floor of the box for them. Just need to rig it up with a camera now and get it up under the eves planning on having this done for the weekend.
Imaginary dinner!!! You do make me laugh Kathy, I was indeed very lucky to have seen Queen in Paris, many many years ago, when I was much younger & greatly into ‘heavy metal’ and I must say it as a concert I will never forget!! Very talented man BM.
Got me reminiscing now
back to birds.......... I’m so pleased you’ve decided to put up a swift box Paul, I’m pretty sure your neighbour won’t be too pleased if you maybe take away his pair (if there are only one pair) in the vicinity! Cos he doesn’t know who he’s messing with!!! “Our bird man of Liverpool”!! I love these and housemartins, as a primary school child our school was a haven for swifts & housemartins, all the way around the school & it was the size of ‘st Trinians’ (pupils weren’t that bad though), i used all my ‘playtime‘ just watching them build their homes under the eaves, I was Mesmerised!! so very best of luck with that venture Paul, I’m sure you will be a success and can’t wait to see heart
Post by blueeyedchick on Feb 20, 2019 14:36:59 GMT
Nice one Paul the sooner it's in position the better! Like the CD to call them home to nest? Did the feathers and glue come with the kit thinking the glue should be safe for them if they peck at it?
Elle, one band I never got to see but BM loves birds so he is the one for me. The Bohemian Rhapsody film they have just made is brilliant had me in tears because I thought where has all the time gone? Swifts and House Martins especially used to be a nuisance round my neck of the woods because they were always making a mess on the yards and windows.Different days now, makes you wonder what we are leaving to our grandchildren doesn't it. Butterflies in UK have plummeted too.
Elle, They stay loyal to the nest site, So this is just in hopes a new set need a nest or the babies of the 2 sets nesting in our road find it in July before leaving.
Kathy, No feathers or glue didn't come with the kit, However I have used a pet safe eco bond glue so its perfectly fine. The glue is at bottom of the feathers also none is actually exposed for pecking.
53% is such a large number to be down for these, If anyone as the space for a swift box and hear them / see them in the area it might be good idea to help them out a little. If this box is successful for me I will add more along side it (without cameras probably)
Paul, really wish you luck with the swifts but am also really interested in how you set the camera up in the wood stone box. As you know the box of mine that is usually occupied is made of woodcrete ( looks a very similar substance) and have never thought of a way of safely securing a camera and keeping wiring away from little beaks. Be so interested to see how you do it. Don’t know how you will ever be able to keep up with 10 boxes and the forum and helping me Sue
Paul, i absolutely love swifts i could watch them all day long, i usually walk down near the River Nene to see them sometimes we get them over the house, i would love to see them arrive this year would be spectacular sight Good luck with the swift box Paul
Good luck with the swifts Paul. I've looked at every side of our house and can't see anywhere suitable for a swift box. I've definitely decided it's time we moved
I've seen / heard them overhead once or twice over the years so hopefully they've found somewhere in the vicinity to nest. It should be made law to insert these into new builds especially where old property is knocked down and replaced.
Sammi that is a good point about new houses having nesting sites included where old property is knocked down. Paul is it significant that the feathers are in the box. Is it because this will hopefully entice them in to thinking it has been used before? If so where did you find this info. I have looked at our house and like Sammi only place I could put on is at the rear which faces west so hot all day.
Kathy, I don't know the full reason you are told to put feathers in the nest mould for them but it is a nest starter. Maybe its cause swifts never land they spend most there live in the air sleeping in flight drinking in flight eatting in flight. They have small weak legs that make it not good for them to land so there one of the few birds if not only bird that spents 10 months a year in the air (2 months they do land is in the nest for breeding season) so maybe the nest starter is to give them help with material rather than to think its an old nest?
Here is a website "Bristol swifts" www.bristolswifts.co.uk/ He's been building his colony for 13 years and now as 15 nesting pairs, He trys everything new boxes new layouts inside and he as noticed by painting the box black inside that they like that more. He thinks its cause they like it dark as possible to feel safe. I have been painting my box black inside now before placing it, I have had a few emails back and forth with the owner of Bristol swifts and he as been kind enough to share alot info with me in regards to what to do with my box to give it the best chances of success so how can you not listen to someone whos spent 13 years studying these birds nest habits and now as 15 breeding pairs on his house right?
The best chance of attracting them is by playing a CD of there calls near the nest box, The sound of swifts screaming / calling attracts they to the nest area. You can get CD here - www.swift-conservation.org/Shopping!.htm
Info off bristol swifts site when to play the swift calls
When to play Swift Calls CD/mp3
Swift calls can be played in the mornings and evenings on calm, dry days from May to July to good effect. However as there are normally three waves of swift arrivals these are the most effective times that I found to play the Swift Calls CD/mp3
The first wave. These normally arrive in the last week in April – early May and consist mainly of breeding adults returning to their traditional nest sites. It is difficult to attract these to a new site (box) as they are extremely site faithful, however displaced breeding adults will take up residency in new homes but it’s rare. You can play your CD/mp3 anytime from now but the chances of attracting any are slim.
The second wave. These start to arrive from the end of May and into the first half of June. These are the ones you are after. These are 2-3 year old birds looking for a nest site. They are definitely attracted by the CD/mp3 calls and will fly up to an investigate wherever the sound is coming from. Try and place your speakers as near as you can to your box and play it as loud as you can (with neighbours agreement). Play whenever the weather is calm. Avoid wet and windy days as swifts don’t prospect for new nest sites in bad weather. Best times to play your CD/mp3 is from 6 -11am and again from 8-10pm. If you’re lucky enough to attract a pair they will spend the rest of the summer building a new nest ready for next year.
The third wave. These arrive in the middle of July. They are yearlings returning for the first time. They are interested in joining a colony and will visit several in the local area to suss out the best ones. They might even enter one of your boxes, roosting in it until they leave in August, but they won’t start nest building until the following year. They are also attracted by the CD/mp3, so play as described above.
Sorry about the long reply with all the info just been researching into these birds alot over the last few days, Thanks for ben from the forum who put swift boxes up last summer and told me about the bristol swift site.
Been getting visits to one of my side boxes all morning, When I turned the camera on there was two blue tits in the box one left straight away. Here is a little video of one coming in, I don't know if its male or female at this point but they was two in the box when the camera first got turned on and one as been coming back every 30mins or so. Here's a little 18sec video I got for twitter of one of the visits anyway, All attention seems to be on this side box now.
Thank you Sammi Yes matt, very true indeed. I would recommend led lighting to everyone. My quality looks abit better than this on telly too, I lose abit of quality with my videos because i'm videoing it off my tv monitor with my Iphone. So lose abit of quality due to that, But still great quality videos even with losing some quality.
Post by blueeyedchick on Feb 22, 2019 15:11:09 GMT
That is really interesting I am going to see if I can print it if not I will copy and paste to word & do it that way for future reference. What a fantastic little bird eh and what a perilous life they have? I remember my Dad saying years ago when he was a boy that he found one on the ground, can't recall whether it was still alive or why it had landed but he picked it up and placed it on a ledge to see if it would eventually fly off.When he went back later it had gone. Maybe it did fly off again or maybe it met another fate but haven't seen around here for some years. Sad really
Right, Swift box is up in place with camera in ready for there return!
Sue these pictures are for you to show how I have put the camera into the stone box. I used a long bolt drilled through the box and put the bolt in it come out the other end inside the box I think screwed the camera bracket on to the long bolt.
These pictures above are the bolt outside the box and the bolt on the inside of the box that I screwed the camera on to, I have all the wiring to the camera outside the box I basically pulled the camera lead out and pushed the front of the box on so it kinda jammed the lead but didn't then need to make an hole for the leads and ruin the box only hole made was for the camera init to be screwed on.
Here's the camera inside the box and the below pictures will be the camera view plus where its mounted on the wall.
You can see all the cables from the camera neatly tucked into the window frame all in all it was easy to put the camera in the struggle was lifting a box that weights 8kg on the ladder and putting it in place but its all done! Also had a word with the neighbours told them I will be playing the swift calls from May, Giving them a good few weeks notice. They wasn't bothered "Oh paul you don't need to even tell us that is fine hope you get a swift nest" But thought its only fair they have a warning before it happens. Anyway that is swift box out the way just got to wait for them to arrive back in the UK now! Anyone wondering why I painted the inside of the box black its because they prefer it painted black in smaller boxes / open front ones gives it a dark look / feel.
Paul, wow, all that information. How clever you are. Thank you. Looks like you’ve done an amazing job. May try getting my son to experiment with my woodcrete box. You just show how all things are possible. Now can you just convince my husband that I need another site for more wires, cameras etc . Sue ps after all the work you’ve put in you so deserve swifts to use your box.
Paul, that's fantastic I was wondering if you had managed it. All you need now is an occupant and I'll keep my fingers crossed for your efforts to be successful. Great job! Oh , and well done to Mr & Mrs Sparrow, they are not far behind Flo by the looks of it. Hopefully this nest building will start to creep round all the members soon.
Sammi, I don't see why that would be a problem, Swifts "natural" nest sites is under roof tiles / gaps in the eves. So I don't see why a box on roof would be a problem.
Have a look at the bristol swift website, He started off with 1 swift nest now as 15 pairs breeding, I have been emailing him over the last few days and he suggested painting inside of my box black. With my box not being massive and hole being at front he said they like it dark and light will get in decent amount by painting it black inside it helps with that problem and more chance of being successful.
He as a few "smaller" swift boxes and they only had a 30% success rate over his longer boxes that had a 70% so in 2017 he painted 3 of his "smaller" boxes black inside and left 3 normal by end of the year all 3 of the ones painted black was used and only 1 of the unpainted. So if you go for a box with hole at front rather than underneath and it isn't a big box paint it black inside because it will really up your chances of a nest by the looks of it.
quote from the site
Swifts seem to prefer to nest in as dark a recess as possible, actively seeking out places which seem pitch black to us. So I painted the interiors in 3 of my boxes black to trial in 2017. I chose my smaller box designs as historically they only had a 30% occupancy rate, compared to my longer boxes which have an occupancy rate closer to 70%. Although these smaller boxes are regularly visited by prospecting swifts they are rarely used as nest sites. I’ve wondered if this is because they are too bright inside compared to my longer boxes. So in readiness for the 2017 season I painted the interiors of 2 corner boxes and 1 Zeist box black inside, using a matt black emulsion. For comparison 3 similar boxes were left unpainted. At the end of 2017 season I noted all 3 boxes with black interiors were occupied, whereas only 1 of the unpainted boxes was used.
His site as tons of information and he's been studying these birds for 13 years and now as 15 breeding pairs. Site is here - www.bristolswifts.co.uk/ You could always email him sammi and ask for his opinion he is very helpful and helped me alot over emails Just fill in the contact us part of the website he is pretty quick on replying to you