Forum home Wildlife gardening

Swift Nestbox

I recently fitted a swift nest box to my house, one that I purchased from a member of a swift conservation group. They appear to be in decline (the swifts, not the conservation groups!!).

This one has an internal speaker that plays swift chirps to attract them, wired to a tiny circuit board in my living room that has an SD card with the swift sounds on. Plugged into a timer, the sounds are played early morning and evening. I will be lucky to get occupants this year, but fingers crossed for following years.

Fitted high up above the fake alarm box (north aspect)....



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,966
    😊 🤞 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    I have a swift box, but no fake alarm. That's a great idea. I was wondering how to attract them down without sitting outside playing swift calls on a loop.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    I saw my first swifts today. B)
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,966
    At our last house there were lots of swifts nesting in the roofs of the Victorian terraces every year and we loved watching them flying about and listening to them screaming. Here we’re less than a mile away but we hardly see them ... 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Hi. Only just joined the forum. I do have lots of swifts nesting - not far off ten years now since I first managed to attract them to nestboxes, after several years of playing calls without success.

    I wonder if the original poster already had swifts in the area nearby - if there's already a population, then getting them to move in isn't that difficult, but it's a different matter if they are hardly ever around.

    Here's my own tale of getting swifts - with luck, it has live video of some nests in the summer.

    They usually arrive here (near Cambridge) about 1 week into May.
  • LeadFarmerLeadFarmer Posts: 1,382
    Fascinating diary clarke, hoping to see my nestbox occupied one year soon hopefully.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    We put up boxes some years ago and have had no joy. We do see them in the area, but very high in the sky. I don't see them swooping down. I haven't tried playing any calls yet, but may well this year.  I think maybe our area is just to noisy and busy. Our small terraced gardens heave with people from May to Sept (more this year, probably), kids screaming, trampolines, parties. I'm sure I'd want to make a nest with all the din. It would make my year if they did arrive. I have four boxes up, shared with a neighbour.
  • Do play swift calls if you possibly can! It's been described as the silver bullet for attraction. As near the box as possible - even inside it - they're not bothered by it blaring in their ears. And they don't care about human activity. I've picked them up (when needed), and checked their nests with little reaction - if a bird could say "Whatever" or "Am I bothered".
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    I liked the alarm box mentioned above - some kind of battery powered device on the wall.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    The swifts will be arriving soon. I'd really love them to use the boxes for the first time this year. We have four boxes and have had zero residents so far.
Sign In or Register to comment.