|8 boxes ready for painting and installation|
It was decided to copy Martin Grund's idea in Germany to get the children to number and paint the boxes before installation. As swifts have excellent colour vision and as it is a good idea to have distinctive marks on the boxes for the swifts to recognise them, this seemed a good plan.
The school has an 'Eco Group' of 12 children, made up of 2 children from year 1 to year 6 (6 to 11 year olds). So, on 2nd May, the children gathered around, paint brushes in hand ready to paint the boxes.
|Exquisite artistry by Jean Wutchaiyatamrongsil|
|Colourful artwork by Emily Cooper|
|8 boxes installed together with sound system|
|Clarke admiring 4 of the 8 nest boxes|
After painting the boxes, the children stuck sterilised pheasant feathers onto MDF nest concaves. As swifts are very unlikely to find pheasant feathers, we will easily be able to recognise any feathers added by the swifts themselves, typically pigeon feathers.
After gluing the nest concaves into the boxes, they were ready for erection. Here we were joined by Clarke Brunt, who has his own swift colony in Milton, and the 8 boxes were quickly installed under the eaves. While installing the boxes, we spent a lot of time looking up, and we saw several swifts flying over. We finished off by installing a Box of Swifts attraction call-playing system.
Shirley Primary School is now one of a very small number of schools in the UK with Swift nest-boxes.