A pilot study of Swift nesting boxes has begun at two University colleges, Grey and Josephine Butler, this month. This joint project between Durham University, Durham Biodiversity Action Partnership and Durham Bird Club will monitor the boxes in the hope that migrating birds will breed this summer. Swifts arrive from Africa and look for nesting sites. Most make their home in roof spaces, entering through gaps in tiles or under the eaves. Others nest in the gaps in crumbling brickwork. However, they are struggling to find suitable homes in towns and cities due to the British public's obsession with home improvement.
Swifts are one of the most graceful and speedy summer visitors to Britain. They are such good fliers, they even sleep on the wing. Their wings are scythe-shaped, while their tails are forked. They eat flying insects and airborne spiders. Unlike swallows, they never perch on wires.