It will soon be time to play those calls!

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: 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):…/zwaluwen-werkgroep/…

BLUETOOTH SPEAKER:…/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_i…


We’re at the Hillsborough Park Midsummer Festival

S6 Swifts have a stall at this year’s festival on Sunday 18th June. Come and see us and our display of information, boxes and bricks! We’re looking forward to meeting many of you and answering any questions you may have. For other ‘swifty’ events around Sheffield, visit SSN for more information.

Where are our swifts and swift nests? Report your sightings!

S6 Swifts, as part of the Sheffield Swift Network, are asking if you can help record your swift sightings and swift nests. We have developed a comprehensive guide and an easy to use form for you to complete here. If we know where they are, we have a far better chance in protecting them. Please…

Come help make a Scream of Swifts – Sun 15th & 22nd January – Abbeyfield Park

Patrick Amber and Jan-Erik Bullet who made the fantastic swift for the Sheffield Swift Network’s recent petition presentation at the Sheffield Town Hall will be hosting 2 workshops, making a Scream of Swifts! All swifts made will be used for SSN’s forthcoming publicity and campaign events. They will be making swifts out of willow, tissue…

2 thoughts on “It will soon be time to play those calls!

  1. Hi guys. How and where can I buy one of these boxes? If last year is anything to go by, our wee friends should be arriving at some point over the next few days or so. I’d like to have a nest box installed ASAP for that reason. Regards, Keith


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