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End of the 2012 Swift Season

2012 has not been a good year for Swifts, with a wet and cold start to their breeding attempts. Even for those that did lay eggs the rest of the summer was very hard going in trying to find enough food to feed their young. I know of several breeding successes but for most colonies I expect it was a wash out. Let us sincerely hope that next year, May June and July will be much warmer and drier for these wonderful birds (and ourselves!). The season when they are with us is such a short one.

Before the Christmas rush begins, I am hoping that those lucky members/non members who have had Swifts nesting in their area will send the records of their sightings; grid references and dates etc. to our database through the BTO Birdtrack system. Details can be found on the “Records” section of this website.

Life in the fast lane: Scientists have recorded Swifts flying at a top speed of 69.3 mph. Swifts are thought to hunt their insect prey at around 25 mph and have recorded catching more than 312 different species.

Clocking up the miles: A Swift found dying in Oxford in 1964, 16 years after it was ringed as an adult, was thought to be at least 18 years old. In its lifetime, it is likely to have flown about four million miles – that’s equivalent to flying to the moon and back eight times!

A message from Edward Mayer to me recently suggested I take a look at this section of the RSPB website which shows how Chris Mason is helping to conserve nest sites for Swifts in Oxfordshire.

Nov. 2012: Audrey Wende: Please let me know how Swifts fared in your area at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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