Save our Swifts project

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

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 and GMIT Mayo have erected 18 nest boxes  and 11 of these can be viewed on the livestream cameras below. The aim of this project is to provide nest sites for Swifts to help grow the local population and to raise awareness about this amazing bird.  In 2019, 10 of these nests were occupied by Swifts and 12 chicks were successfully reared.

GMIT Mayo student, Jaroslaw Majkusiak, is doing a Masters research project on the breeding biology of the Swifts at the nest box project using 24/7 recordings of the breeding season.

Please Note

Due to Covid-19 restrictions at the GMIT Mayo Campus, we have made some changes to the live stream to facilitate the Master's Research on the swifts breeding biology.

The cameras are now being recorded onto digital video recorders to enable recording 24/7 from nest sites, which means all cameras are currently on a multi-screen setup.

Apologies for any disappointment in layout and quality we will try to improve this if possible.

Watch 2021 Live Streaming Below!


Swift Blog 2021

Camera 2 

15 September: There was one single bird spending the night in this nest box (Box 18) in August until 22nd which was the last night it spent there. The season is now over and we hope a pair will nest in this box in 2022.

Camera 3 

15 September: There was one single bird in Box 15 in August. The last night it spent there was 23 August. The season is now over and we hope a pair will nest in Box 15 in 2022.

Camera 4

15 September: All the birds have now gone. The last bird to leave was the chick from Box 5 which fledged on 26 August. It was a good season with 13 chicks successfully fledging from these 12 occupied nest boxes. A breakdown box by box is as follows : Box 1 = 2 chicks, Box 2 = 2 chicks, Box 3 = new pair no chicks, Box 4 = 2 small chicks died when one of the parents went missing after a thunderstorm and the remaining adult couldn't cope on its own, Box 5 = 1 chick, Box 6 = eggs lots following a 12 hour fight with an intruder, Box 7 = 1 chick, Box 8 = 2 chicks, Box 9 = 3 chicks, Box 10 = didn't breed this year, Box 11 = 2 chicks, Box 12 - eggs knocked off nest and didn't breed. We look forward to an even better season in 2022.


Camera 2

2 July 2021: We have put Box 18 on this stream so that we can see the progress this new pair make.  They have already made a very nice nest and we hope they will lay eggs in the coming week.

13 July 2021:  Looks like they won't lay eggs this year.  They are a new pair this year so must be getting to know each other and setting up a nice home ready for breeding next year!

Camera 3

2 July 2021: We have moved Box 18 to Camera 1 position so that we get a better view of this new pair.  There is a new pair in Box 15 and they are building a nest.  A bird occasionally visits the other nest boxes.

13 July 2021: The new pair in Box 15 built up the nest but they now appear to have left for the year and will be flying until they return next year - to breed.

Camera 4

2 July 2021: You can now see all 12 of the original nest boxes.  There are 3 well-grown chicks in Box 9.  There was a  fight in Box 6 on 30 June which started at 9 pm and carried on all night to the next morning.  It appears that the intruder won the fight and has knocked off the egg and has paired with the remaining bird.  They may lay eggs in the next week.  There are small chicks in boxes 2 and 7.

13 July 2021: All 12 boxes are now occupied.  Box 1 has 1 small chick, Box 2 has 2 chicks, Box 3 is a new pair that only got together at end of June. Box 4 has 2 eggs, Box 5 has 1 chick, Box 6 there was a fight on 30 June with an intruder and the egg was knocked off the nest so they won't breed this year. Box 7 has 1 chick, Box 8 has 1 chick, Box 9 has 3 well-grown chicks that will fledge around the 3rd week of July, Box 10 new pair not going to breed this year, Box 11 has 2 chicks, Box 12 had 1 egg that they knocked off the nest last week and they now won't breed this year.

11 June 2021

Camera 2 : There is now a pair in this nest box but they are not adding nest material and we are not sure why.

Camera 3 : There's a new pair for this year in Box 18.  They got together last week and are now adding nest material so eggs should follow in a few days.  Two days ago a single bird arrived in Box 15 and this bird will now be looking for a mate.

Camera 4 : All of the nest boxes are now occupied except No. 3 and the best time to see this is at night.  The eggs in Box 9 are hatching.  Boxes 2, 8 and 11 are incubating.  Boxes 1 and 6 have laid one egg this morning.  Box 8 has knocked 3 eggs off the nest and that's because they are a new inexperienced pair and are very clumsy in the nest box.


Camera 2 :

26 April 2021 : The new season is here.  Livestreams connected today.  

8 May 2021: One bird arrived back on 6 May at 10pm and is now waiting for mate.  

12 May 2021: Still just one bird awaiting mate.


Camera 3 :

Multiscreen 1 - Boxes 13 to 18 newly installed in 2019

26 April 2021: Livestreams connected today.

8 May 2021 : No sign of any birds here yet. 


Camera 4:

Multiscreen 2 - Boxes 1 to 11 (Box 1 is top left and 11 is bottom right)

26 April 2021 :  Livestream set up today and we were amazed to see one swift in Box 9 at 8pm.  This is a very early arrival date.

8 May 2021: There are now single birds in boxes 1, 2, 5 and 9.  The bird in Box 9 has been here for about 10 days and has remoulded the nest and is already adding new nest material even though the mate has not yet returned.

12 May 2021: Box 9 now has a pair reunited.  There are also single birds in Boxes 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11.


For further information on Swift Conservation visit

GMIT Save Our Swifts Project
Email: Lynda Huxley