Common swift Apus apus, birds flying over rooftops of terrace houses, Luton, Bedfordshire, England

Belfast Swift City

Every year, we encourage people to report sightings of swifts all over the UK in our Swift Survey, but the Swift City project goes one step further.

About Belfast Swift City

Belfast Swift City was launched in June 2013 at the Belfast City Hall.

More than 60 guests attended, including representatives from local construction companies, architects, NGOs, Parliament Buildings, government bodies, volunteers, primary and secondary school children, Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), staff and councils from Belfast City Council and swift enthusiasts.

There were five speakers including Belfast City Lord Mayor, RSPB NI Director, Translink’s Biodiversity Officer, NIEA Senior Scientific Officer, Botanic Primary School’s Eco-committee. African drummers finished with a performance which involved audience participation. The State of Nature clip and swift movie created by Botanic Primary School was played on the large screen outside the City Hall during the day for the general public to view.

Swift in flight

The Belfast Swift City Survey

The Belfast Swift City Survey was completed during May-July 2013. 

Here are the results:

  • 30 volunteers took part
  • 30 square kilometres were covered across Belfast: North, South, East and West
  • Two point counts within one 200x200 square metres were completed
  • There were 83 confirmed swift nest sites
  • 28 squares contained swifts
  • One training event was held with 25 volunteers
  • An online questionnaire was sent to all surveyors for their feedback, with 14 responses overall giving positive feedback of their experience.

Belfast Swift City Project

Claire Barnett tells us about how the Belfast Swift City project is helping locate and protect swifts in Northern Ireland.

Here is a video of the project in 2014.

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Belfast swift video screenshot