Sunday 16 April 2023

A proposed Swift Tower Design

I have to admit luke-warm enthusiasm for swift towers because so few can demonstrate success. However, we have enjoyed success with the Trumpington Community Orchard Swift Tower, and at least one other tower, at Tice's Meadow nature reserve in Surrey, of the same design. Both of these towers had 5 pairs in 11 chambers in 2022. 

Proposed Swift tower with 20 chambers (see model)

We have also had worthwhile success with cabinet and triangular gable boxes with a particular style of front with a simple canopy over the entrances. The canopies are made by cutting a batten 3"x 2" in half at 45°:

A 4-chamber cabinet with 2 pairs and a
25-chamber triangle with 9 pairs in 2022

The canopies provide shelter from rain and sun, and also may deter predators. This style of front is easy to make and looks attractive. For this year, after squirrels attacked the original front, we have replaced the Trumpington tower front (see Facebook).

We have now extended the design with a new proposal which combines these ideas in a tower with 20 chambers. There is an online model here. You can spin it around and also look at pre-cooked views under the clapper-board symbol. The carpentry is sufficiently simple for amateur carpenters, though some serious equipment may be needed to erect it.

The Trumpington tower has the lowest boxes at 6.5 metres. This is too high to access with a ladder for basic maintenance (we have tried it!). So suggest  a height of 5.5 metres - this is a good height for the birds and accessible for maintenance.

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