Swift Live Streaming

Save our Swifts Project with live streaming from swift nestboxes at GMIT Mayo campus

Swifts Live Streaming

Save our Swifts Project

The Swift is a bird of conservation concern in Ireland due to loss of breeding sites.

Swifts nest mainly in tall buildings, usually under the eaves.  It is known that Swifts nest in Castlebar and in particular at the GMIT Mayo campus.

The Green Campus team at GMIT Mayo has erected twelve nest boxes to provide nest sites for Swifts with the aim of raising awareness of the nesting requirements of the birds.  

The project is linked with environmental modules on GMIT's Culture & Environment and Outdoor Education courses, and demonstrates to students on construction courses how wildlife can be affected by building renovation work.


2016  Live Streaming

Swift updates from Lynda Huxley, GMIT Mayo Green Campus

They're back!    

  • We are delighted that we have two pairs of Swifts that have returned and are in Box 1 and Box 12.  
  • We also have one bird back in Box 11 and in Box 5.  

13 May 2016:

  • The pair in Box 1 have started to reline their nest.  All the nest material was stolen by Great Tits before the Swifts arrived.  It will be interesting to see how long it takes them to rebuild their nest from scratch. 
  • The pair in Box 12 are adding nest material including what appears to be Molinia grass.  
  • We now have a pair in box 5 (which is camera 6 on the multi-screen).  
  • Box 11 has been empty for the past few nights.

16 May 2016:

  • We have our first egg of the year in Box 12.  
  • The pair in Box 5 can now be viewed on Camera 4
  • Box 11 is on the multi-screen.

23 May 2016:

  • Lots of drama in the boxes has been taking place
  • Box 1 - This pair of Swifts had 2 eggs but they have both rolled out of the nest, possibly during a fight with an intruder
  • Box 12 - This pair of Swifts now have 3 eggs. They had a fight with an intruder at 10pm - very dramatic.  The intruder lost the fight.
  • Box 5 - This pair of Swifts are still lining their nest and should lay eggs soon
  • Box 11 - This pair of Swifts (Camera 3) have only just arrived from Africa, which is 2 weeks later than the pair of Swifts in Box 12.

8 June 2016:

  • Great drama in the boxes since my last update - good and bad.
  • Box 12 - Great news.  The eggs hatched between 6 and 7 June.  They will soon start feeding their chicks.
  • Box 1 - This pair have relaid 2 eggs and have restarted incubation so fingers crossed!
  • Box 11 - Unfortunately their eggs disappeared from the nest. Swift do eject eggs for unknown reasons so maybe this is what happened.  We hope they will try to lay again.
  • Box 5 - They laid two eggs around 2 June but subsequently knocked one egg off the nest but the second egg is being incubated.
  • Box 10 - We have a new pair in this box and don't know if they'll try to lay this year or will just line the nest - will have to keep watching.

8 July 2016

  • Box 12 (Camera 3) - The two chicks are approximately two weeks from fledging and are very active, doing wing stretching and push ups to build up their muscles ready for their maiden flight.  When swift chicks leave the nest they will not land again for two or three years so having muscles strong enough to fly well is essential.
  • Box 1 (Camera 1) - These two chicks are growing well.  They hatched on 25 June so won't fledge until around the first week in August.
  • Box 5 (Camera 4) - There is just one chick in this box and it's growing really well, getting the full attention of both adults. It hatched on 20 June so is a few days older than the chicks in Box 1.
  • On the multi screen we now have three pairs of swifts but none are breeding this year.  This means that next year we should have six pairs of breeding pairs in our nest boxes.

19 August 2016

  • All 5 chicks fledged successfully so it was a great success.  The last chick fledged a week earlier than last year so despite the lack of sun there were plenty of insects around and good feeding for the swifts.
  • When a swift chick fledges it does not land again for 3 years.  This is the age a swift starts to breed so until then it will fly to Africa and back twice before it finds a partner and finds a nest site.
  • Swifts migrate alone so are only with their partner for the breeding season which is from May to August.  We wish them all a safe journey.
  • Tune in again next May to see the next breeding season of our GMIT swifts.

Further Information: 

Notes on Setting up a Swift Nest Box Project (PDF)

We are Swifts - We are in Trouble (PDF Booklet)

GMIT Mayo Green Campus Co-ordinator
Lynda Huxley
Tel: +353-94-9043101
Email: Lynda Huxley

Camera 1

Camera 2

Camera 3

Camera 4