Easy ways to make swifts welcome

You can easily make swifts welcome when they arrive in the UK to nest.

Build your own swift nest box

If you’re feeling creative, why not have a go at making your own swift nest box? Thanks to our easy-to-follow video, you’ll be giving swifts a home in no time!

Swifts are amazing birds: but they're in trouble. Their numbers here have halved in just the last 20 years. I'm going to show you an easy way you can help them.

Swifts need somewhere to nest.

You've got three options.

You can buy a ready-made nestbox like this one.

Install one of these nufty swift bricks into a wall.

Or, make your own swift box!

This is what you're going to need to make your swift box:

  • a saw
  • some wood, preferably chemical-free
  • a hammer and chisel
  • some screws
  • a tape measure
  • a drill and a few bits


The wood is cut into six sections

Top: 460mm x 190mm

Back: 440mm x 155mm

Front: 380mm x 155mm (with a hole 28mm tall x 65mm wide)

Base: 380mm x 148mm

Left end: 148mm x 143mm

Right end: 148mm x 143mm

Measurements based on 12mm thick wood


First, cut out the wood and make the entrance hole on the front.

This needs to be 28mm by 65mm.

That's big enough for swifts, while preventing bigger birds from getting in.

Then, simply screw the sections together.

Take great care, or consider getting a professional to put your swift box up.

Make sure the box will not be in direct sunlight, and that it's at least five metres above the ground with plenty of space in front for the birds to fly in.

Swift calls can help the birds find their new home.

Find out more on our website www.rspb.org.uk/homes-for-swifts



Buy an RSPB swift nest box

If your DIY skills leave a lot to be desired, why not buy a ready-made nest box from our online shop?

It’s perfect for creating a cosy home for swifts on existing buildings. 

A wall-mounted swift nest box from the RSPB shop

Install a swift brick

If you’re embarking on some major house renovation work, creating an extension or building a new house then a swift brick, built into the fabric of a wall, is a great, permanent and low-maintenance alternative to a nestbox.


PDF, 4.5MB

Swift Brick Facts

Protect swifts under threat near you

Many established swift colonies are being lost through the demolition and renovation of buildings.

Find out how you can help to protect swifts whose homes are under threat and encourage local authorities to provide swift nest sites in new buildings.

Find out more from our partners

More advice and products to help you give swifts a home are available from our partners: