London's Swifts Education, Training & Surveys

Lectures & Presentations

Would you like to know more about Swifts and their needs? Would you like to hear a lecture and see a "PowerPoint" presentation about them? We provide individual, tailored lectures and presentations to audiences such as developers, architects, local authority staff, planning committees, RSPB Members Groups, birdwatching clubs, indeed anyone who wants to know more about these superb birds.
If you are interested, please
e-mail Swift Conservation.

Swift drinking in flight - Photo © Marc Guyt /

Training in how to help Swifts

Would your organisation benefit from having someone train you or a colleague in how to identify Swift nest places, and preserve and create nest places for Swifts in a wide variety of buildings?
We can provide this training on site or at your premises.
To find out more
e-mail Swift Conservation.

Training for artificial nest site location - Scottish Bat Workers Conference, Stirling, November 2007
Photo courtesy of Anne Youngman BCT

Surveying Swifts

While Swifts are easy to see screaming around on a hot Summer's evening, they are secretive and discreet about where they nest, visiting at speed, so fast they can easily be missed. Yet knowledge of where they occur and nest is essential if we are to persuade government to improve their protection, and make places for them in the built environment.

There's a way to tell if they are nesting nearby. If the birds are flying low along eaves and roofs and round houses, screaming as they go, then they are certainly nesting in the near vicinity, perhaps in the houses they are flying around. But if you see them flying slowly, drifting along, heading steadily in one direction, then they are probably migrating.

You can participate in two current Swift Migration surveys. You can do these surveys on your own, with friends, or with your bird watching club. However you get them done, they will help keep Swifts flying.

You can also take part in two
Breeding Bird Surveys, one from the RSPB just for Swifts, the other the BTO one which covers all birds including Swifts. Click on the links below to find out more and join the surveys.

Do you need to learn how to recognise a Swift? Look at our photos, at our Videos page, and use these identification guides:
Collins Bird Guide by Mullarney, Svensson, Zetterström and Grant, ISBN 0 00 219728 6
Birds of Europe by Lars Jonsson ISBN 0 7136 8096 2.

BirdTrack and the BBS - A long-term Swift migration survey and a Breeding Swifts survey

BTO Bird TrackTrack your Swifts! Click the logo to visit Bird Track, enter your sightings and see the results on cumulative map displays

BTO BBS SurveyBy participating in the BTO's Breeding Bird Survey you contribute to our  knowledge of breeding birds, Swifts included of course, throughout the UK

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