Swift to decline, slow to recover: A conservation charity is seeking good homes for the threatened birds as their nest sites vanish
GEORGE MAIR Published: 06:00 Friday 15 February 2019
A conservation charity has appealed for Scots homeowners and businesses to help save the nation’s fastest flying bird, the swift, by providing thousands of new homes for them.
The iconic summer visitors used to be seen in large numbers swooping across the rooftops in Scotland’s urban areas. Nicknamed devil birds because of their distinctive screams, swifts can reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour in flight. But the bird is also one of Scotland’s fastest declining, with the population crashing by 59 per cent since 1995.
Now, as swifts prepare to make their epic 6,000 mile journey back to Scotland to bring up their chicks in the coming months, RSPB Scotland says some birds hoping to lay their eggs here will be thwarted because their former homes under the eaves are gone, as are the spaces once left for them. The charity yesterday appealed to people in towns and cities to help the species by providing as many new homes for them as possible.