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09 Aug 2022

Limerick public asked to partake in countywide swift survey

Limerick public asked to partake in countywide swift survey

A picture of the common swift, found in Ireland

THE LIMERICK public are being asked to help out with a vital swift survey this summer.

BirdWatch Ireland (BWI) is undertaking a countywide survey on swifts, which have declined by approximately 40% across Ireland in the last 10 years.

They have been moved on to the Red List, the highest level of conservation concern.

Swifts were once a common sight in Limerick City, returning to nest each summer in small recesses in occupied and derelict buildings.

However, documentation shows that the numbers of swifts have dropped, mirroring national declines.

The good news is that Swifts have been seen paying particular attention to the nest box at Merchant’s Quay.

If you do see any activity such as swifts flying in and around the boxes even if not entering them, please inform: limerickbranchbwi@gmail.com or sinead.mcdonnell@limerick.ie.

These nest boxes are located: at the side of St Mary’s Cathedral at Merchant’s Quay Offices, King John’s Castle Exhibition Space (formerly The Tavern Inn), the Hunt Museum facing the Potato Market and St Michael’s Church looking into People’s Park.

Swifts that weigh as little as a Cadbury’s Creme Egg are built to spend most of their lives in constant flight only ever landing to nest.

They are monogamous and pair as teenagers but don’t actually breed until they are four years old.

They have a remarkable and unique way of surviving bad weather and food shortages.

During periods of bad weather, the adults sometimes move a long distance to find better conditions to feed themselves to survive.

If you are aware of definite locations where Swifts are active in Limerick, please email Lisa Kavanagh Bird Watch Ireland fieldworker: Swifts@birdwatchireland.ie

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