I’m sure many of you will be keeping your fingers crossed that our African migrants will choose your new box for their new nests this year. These things take time (even years) but the important thing is these guys will have more options. One way to gain their interest is to mimic the calls of a residing swift from (around) your box.
I have personally tried and tested these swift calls and they worked in getting the swifts’ attention and finally investigation. I now have residing swifts.
You can download these calls (see link below). I found that the single calls worked a treat, more so than the colony ones. The calls are all downloadable.
To get these calls near your box, you can either:
– play them on your mobile (risky if your phone starts ringing), or,
– buy a specialist sound system such as that offered by Peak Boxes: https://peakboxes.co.uk/shop-sound-systems or
– invest in a bluetooth speaker (see link below of a tried and tested example) with an sd card which you would put the calls onto.
I used this bluetooth speaker and hung it on a length of string and trapped it in a window near the box (putting a large knot in it to prevent the string sliding through).
The calls need to be a similar volume of the bird calling, so imagine they are calling out to passing swifts, they need to be loud enough to be heard. From street level, people tend not to notice, they may hear the calls but they are no louder than the birdsong that’s going on naturally.
Only play calls in good weather so don’t bother when it’s raining or cold. Playing them in the morning is a good move, and then maybe late afternoon/early evening. Basically for as long as you can get away with it, without annoying the neighbours. Also, just looking out for the swifts and switching on your calls when you see them about is a good move.
Playing the calls from early May until the end of July is best. This year’s breeders will be looking in May, next year’s breeders look from the end of June until the end of July. There’s plenty more information online but I hope you get the gist!
CALLS (well known and used dutch swift calls):
SD CARD YOU CAN USE WITH THE ABOVE BLUETOOTH SPEAKER:
S6 Swifts’ recent fitting of swift boxes at Malin Bridge School led to alot of media interest. On Friday we were featured in the lunchtime and evening bulletins of BBC Look North, together with Ian from the Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust and some very enthusiastic pupils! Thank you Look North for such a lovely…
S6 Swifts joined the other members of the newly formed Sheffield Swift Network at the very first Sheffield Swift Summit hosted by the Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust! We were amongst the guest speakers and (hopefully) entertained everyone with our story so far and our plans for the future. It was an enjoyable evening had…
We are very excited to be a part of the inaugural Sheffield Swift Summit, hosted by the Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust. This is an evening dedicated to swifts with special guest Sarah Gibson, author of Swifts and Us. You will also find out what our newly formed Sheffield Swift Network have been up to…