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.


Live Streaming
We live streamed video and audio from our four most active swift boxes from May to the end of August, 2014.

Scroll down to view a short video clip from one of the live feeds, showing swift chicks in the nest with one adult at the entrance. Watch out the for the second adult as they arrive to feed the chicks.

Swift Updates from Lynda Huxley, GMIT Mayo Green Campus Co-ordinator:

15 August 2014

All four of our swift chicks successfully fledged on 27 and 28 July.  The adult birds returned to the nest boxes each night until 6 August but now all of the swifts have left Ireland and are on their way to Southern Africa where they will spend our winter months.  It has been a highly successful season for the swifts and for the first time ever in Ireland we have been able to live-stream the activities from a swift nest box.  In addition to the breeding birds in boxes 1 and 12, we have had nesting material added to boxes 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 11.  We are very optimistic that next year we will have more pairs breeding in our swift nest boxes.  We hope you have enjoyed watching the swift chicks grow and fledge, here's a few words we received from one happy viewer "Many thanks to you and your team for the hours of enjoyment I got from the Swift Webcams.  It was wonderful to witness the young birds grow and fledge and see how well their parents looked after them. I'm at a loss now they are gone!"  Our cameras will now be turned off until 1 May 2015.

18 July 2014
The pair of Swift chicks in Box 12 (Camera 1) will be fledging in the next few days.  They can often be seen exercising - flexing their wings and doing press ups.  The pair of chicks in Box 1 (Camera 4) are several days younger.  We have seen a pair of Swifts in Box 11 (Camera 2) and it looks like they are "practising" for breeding in that box next year.  On Camera 3 we are streaming for 8 other boxes and have had single birds and pairs in boxes 2, 5 and 8.  The weather has so far been very good for the Swifts and insects plentiful.  We hope it will remain fair to make the fledging for our chicks an easy experience.  Once the chicks leave the nest they won't return to it but the adults may come back in to the nest on a few occasions before they set off on their migration for Africa. 

18 June 2014
"All four eggs have hatched.  The eggs in Box 12 (camera 1) hatched on 13 June and those in Box 1 (camera 4) hatched on 18 June.  We'll be able to watch their development over the next 6 weeks.  You will often see the adults go to the entrance of the box and call (duet) this is usually when they are protecting their nest site from "bangers" which are young birds searching for a nest site.  You will notice on the Camera 3 stream that you can now see in to 8 more of our 12 boxes.  This view is in tile format and will give us an overview of any activity, such as nest building, taking place in these boxes."  

2 June 2014
"There are now two eggs in boxes 1 and 12.  Incubation in box 12 started on 25 May, and in box 1 on 30 May.  Incubation lasts for around twenty days.  Both birds take part in the incubation process.  Nesting material is still being brought into box 11, and we think that this by one bird that does not yet have a mate.  We now have sound in the boxes and the birds can be heard greeting each other and defending their nest box."

23 May 2014
"The first egg was laid by the pair in box 12 (Camera 1) this morning.  We expect them to lay one more egg. The pair in box 1 should lay eggs in the coming week.  When their eggs are laid they will start to incubate and this takes between 16 - 25 days depending on the weather.

Swifts are visiting other boxes but these are just single birds who are either waiting for their mates to return or who are adding nest material that they have gathering on the wing."

19 May 2014
"Most of our nest box swifts have returned, but we still have a few more that should arrive back from Africa this week.  We have a pair in box 1 (Camera 4), a pair in box 12 (Camera 1), a single bird waiting for its mate to arrive in box 11 (Camera 2).  

Until they lay eggs, the birds will spend most of the day time flying around feeding.  They will spend the night together in their box and may pop in during the day to add nest material that they have managed to find on the wing (swifts can't land on the ground because they have very short legs)."

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

Live Streaming

Camera 1   Camera 2
Camera 3   Camera 4