Thursday 3 August 2017

A successful Polish Swift tower design

Although many Swift towers have been erected, few have more than a pair or 2 of Swifts. We were therefore impressed by this design, the "Jerzykowniki” tower, which has been erected in 13 locations in Poland, 5 of which have acquired new occupants in the first year or two.

This story was sent to us by Katarzyna (Kasia) Szczypa

The tower “Jerzykowniki”
Lidzbark Warmiński (Warmia-Masuria region)
Following the erection of a stork platform, which, not unexpectedly, had failed to attract any storks to central Warsaw, the Stork Nature Society decided instead to design a tower suitable for Swifts, House Sparrows, Starlings and Tits.

All of the photos in this post are taken by Adam Tarłowski (ornithologist and designer of the tower from, and Mariusz Grzeniewski (ornithologist from who have been protecting Swifts for 10 years.

A total of 13 “Jerzykowniki” Swifts towers have been installed since 2014 in Poland. Seven towers in Warsaw and six in other locations were set up in areas such as parks and among blocks of flats. Mariusz and Adam together with the Stork Nature Society control 11 of them.

The tower “Jerzykowniki”
in Warsaw (Bielany district)
Successful breeding pairs were found in 5 towers. One of them, 2 years after installation, had 4 breeding pairs in 2016 and 6 pairs in 2017. This was achieved without playing attraction calls!

The remaining 4 towers had one breeding pair each in 2016. The tower is not only effective, it is also an attractive design.

Each tower has 24 nest chambers arranged in a hexagonal structure with 6 chambers on 4 levels. Various hole shapes and sizes are included ranging from sizes suitable for tits to sparrows and starlings. A simple narrow door on each of the 6 sections allows for inspection and maintenance.

The drawing below, by Adam Tarłowski, gives indications of overall dimensions.

Footnote: Jerzykowo is a Polish town.

An adult Swift and 2 Swift chicks on top of a House Sparrows nest

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