Thursday 3 December 2020

Swift Bricks - the 'universal' nest brick

The SLN Swifts & Planning Group has produced a paper advocating the provision of Swift bricks as a preferred solution for a range of small cavity-nesting species. It comes from a realisation that this will have better outcomes for these species than trying to satisfy all species independently.

The paper makes the points that integral or internal nest boxes are:
  • more aesthetically pleasing
  • maintenance free
  • long lasting
  • less prone to predation
  • less prone to temperature variations
The paper does not address species that prefer open-fronted nest boxes or nest boxes suitable for mounting externally.

Photo: Hugh Hastings and the Duchy of Cornwall
The main thrust of the paper is to counter the current tendency to provision large numbers of sparrow terraces. There is mounting anecdotal evidence that they have very low occupancy rates and that House Sparrows prefer Swift boxes.

A one-size-fits-all policy is not only more effective, it simplifies things for ecologists, planners and builders.

Further, whereas Swift boxes can accommodate House Sparrows, Tree Sparrows, Blue Tits, Great Tits, occasionally House Martins and, with a larger entrance, Starlings, sparrow terraces cannot accommodate Swifts.

You can download the paper here: PDF
There is an extended version of this blogpost on Mark Avery's blog

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