The end of April and early May marks the return of our glorious swifts. After a long flight back from their summer in Africa, these perky little birds will have one thing on their minds - to mate. Swifts pair for life, rendezvousing at the same site each year for a little nest renovation before laying and incubating their eggs.
Swifts are a sooty brown, with a pale throat. Unlike the swallow’s long tail, the swift’s tail is short and forked. They rarely, if ever, touch the ground, eating, sleeping and mating on the wing. Keep your eyes skyward for rowdy parties of them careering around rooftops, or swooping low at dusk to catch insects and steal a drink from ponds.
Swifts are currently on the red UK conservation status, so installing a swift nest box is a great way to provide a cosy home for years to come.