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 heritage and outdoor education courses, and demonstrates to students on construction courses how wildlife can be affected by building renovation work.


2015  Live Streaming

Swift updates from Lynda Huxley, GMIT Mayo Green Campus

15 June 2105

The pair in Box 1 (Camera 2) have now laid eggs but this is very late and the chicks won't fledge until mid-August.  A pair has just returned to Box 11 (Camera 1) and they may lay eggs.  The rest of the boxes are being visited by birds and the best time to see this is in the evening. Sadly found a dead swift on the ground yesterday - no indication what it died of.

9 June 2015

The pair in Box 12 are now incubating 2 eggs, the eggs were laid on 28 May.  An unusual event took place in Box 12 last week-end.  The weather was cold and wet and a third bird joined the pair for the night.  There was no fighting and this bird was cuddled up to the pair.  Our thoughts are that it might be one of last year's chicks. We hope that the pair in Box 1 will also lay eggs this year.  The bangers (young non-breeding birds) have just arrived and are holding 'screaming parties' in the courtyard which is a very exciting spectacle.  Two birds, behaving like a pair, are visiting Box 5 on a regular basis.

19 May 2015

The pair in Box 12 (Camera 4) seem to be well established and have added lots of new nest material (mostly dried grass).  Because swifts don't land on the ground all their nest material is gathered on the wing.  The strong winds we are experiencing at the moment are lifting lots of bits of grass into the air which is a great help to the swifts.  We expect this pair to lay eggs in the next few days.  In Box 1 we had two birds for a couple of nights but for the last few nights there has been just one bird and we are little worried that something may have happened to one of the pair.  We'll just have to keep our fingers crossed that it reappears.  On the multiscreen view (Camer 3) we've seen single birds in at least two boxes each night which is an interesting development.  We believe there are still more birds to arrive so keep watching!


11 May 2015

Our first pair of swifts has returned.  The pair in Box 12 (camera 4) can be seen in the box at night as well as one bird in Box 1.  The weather has been very difficult this month and has delayed the arrival of many swifts so we hope to see more birds arrive in the next week.

5 May 2015
"Our swifts normally return on 6 May so we are hoping that tomorrow they will arrive.  On 17 April, I visited Lough Neagh in Co. Antrim and saw 40 swifts feeding on the prolific numbers of Lough Neagh fly.  I wonder if most of Ireland's swifts go there to feed up afer their long journey from Mozambique / Malawi before going to their breeding site.  This year we have 3 students from the BA (Hons) in Heritage Studies monitoring the activity in our nest boxes.  It will be fascinating to see what observations they make regarding feeding frequency of chicks as we are on the western most location of the swift's breeding range."

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