How to make a swift box

Swifts mate for life, and like to return to the same nesting site year after year, fitting a swift nest box is the best thing we can do to help these long-distance migrants.

Numbers of swifts in the UK are in drastic decline. Edinburgh Swift City Project this year is asking people to make boxes to encourage pairs to nest, since the species is facing a huge loss of nesting sites when older buildings are demolished or renovated. Including special bricks that contain suitable cavities in new buildings, and placing nest boxes can help mitigate this problem. There are full instructions to make your own at: Swifts are gregarious, so it’s a good idea to place more than one box, if you have the space. Remember that it can take a number of years for a swift pair to find your box.

Choose a suitable location

It should be high on the vertical wall of a building, ideally under the eaves, 5m (15 feet) above the ground, with an unobstructed flight path in. It shouldn’t be in direct sunlight – best between north and east aspect.

Build it or buy it?

If you don’t have the time or DIY skills, Peak Boxes is a small company involved with swift conservation groups that makes great swift boxes that come flat packed, and gives great advice on their installation. 

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