Sunday 28 June 2015

Another gable in the sun

My daughter and son-in-law decided they would like a Swift box on their Elsworth, Cambs house. The only viable place was at the top of a west-southwest facing gable end.

[Postscript: On July 1st 2015, the "hottest July day ever", the temperature reached 32.8°C in the box - well within safe limits]
[Postscript 2: on July 23rd 2015, A Swift enters the top box. There have been up to 7 'bangers' pulled in by the attraction calls]
[Postscript 3: June 11th 2016, the birds are back in the top box]
[Postscript August 2017, the birds returned in May, laid 5 eggs which were all displaced, but a change of concave to something with vertical edges resulted in the 6th egg producing a chick which fledged]
[Postscript July 2018:  there are pairs with eggs in the top and left boxes]
[Postscript July 2020:  All 3 chambers occupied this year by 3 breeding pairs]

by Dick

The design is a very similar idea to this box, which did not have a potential over-heating problem. This configuration contains just 3 nest chambers. West-southwest is not as bad as south, but the afternoon sun could well be a problem.

4 things should keep the temperature within reasonable limits:

•  The front is 24mm thick - 2 layers of 12mm plywood.
•  The shaped battens cover about half of the front and provide shade from sun directly into the entrances.
•  It is painted white.
•  Air can ventilate into the space between the box sides and the eaves.
A wireless max-min thermometer has been placed in the top box to monitor the maximum temperature each day.

The battens keep the entrances in the shade. The tweeter is attached to the bottom of the box with Velcro.
[Postscript: the swifts pulled the tweeter off, so it has been moved inside one of the boxes]

The detailed construction is illustrated in the pictures below:

#triangle #temperature


  1. Great work!
    I hope it will have swifts in the future.
    Saludos camperos!

  2. Looks really good. I wonder, how did you make those nest-bowls?

  3. See

  4. Could I ask a few questions please?

    1) Did you put a back on the box?
    2) How did you fix it to the wall?

    I'm planning something similar myself so any tips would be appreciated. Trying to fit the box at the top of a ladder is the thing that I am most concerned about. I was thinking about constructing it in two pieces so that I can fix the back to the gable end and then attach the front separately. Would also make cleaning and maintenance easier.

    1. Most triangles have a back, this particular one did not.
      It is fixed to the wall by screws through the sides into the eaves

      To install it, the front is removed, it is then pushed up and placed on a stand off at the top of the ladder, ready for screwing to the eaves. Then the front is replaced.