nest places can be set up inside cavity walls, if there
is enough space. Modern dwellings may well have too little
space, but older sites, including stone built buildings,
may well have enough space between the outer and inner
Ideally, all nest-places should be out of direct sunlight
on the shaded side of the building. But if the outer
wall layer is very thick, this may not be so necessary
as the heat gain may be limited by the thickness of
Minimum nest place dimensions
are 20cm deep by 50cm wide by 25cm high. Bigger is better!
The nest trays can be roofed if this is desirable. The entrance hole can be about
55mm round, and
should be drilled into the wall slightly above nest
tray level, so the birds can gain level access to their
nest. If the wall is thicker than one brick, the inner
part of the hole should be "belled out" to
make access much easier.
N.B. Ventilation and insulation aspects should if necessary be examined
and assured by experts before starting work. Ventilation benefits
Swifts, who often suffer from overheated nest places.
Swift nest places in new-build
or rebuilt cavity walls
Placing nest trays or boxes in the wall cavity
space replicates Swifts' natural cliff and quarry nest
sites. Such nest sites are particularly safe and discreet.
Not only will intrusion and predation be deterred,
but the human occupiers will scarcely notice the Swifts'
presence, and vice versa.
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