Newmarket Leads the Way on Swift Nest Boxes

by Joan Ann Brosnan

Swifts are rapidly disappearing from towns and villages all over Cork City and County. The larger towns still have perhaps tens of pairs, but numbers everywhere are dropping fast.   Smaller towns such as Newmarket have precious few left, and at the rate of decline, might well have none in years to come.

Flock of Swifts

Flock of Swifts

Special thanks mainly to the hard work of Dr. Brin McDonnell and Stephan deBeer, the town of Newmarket can boast 6 Swift nest boxes now in place, in theory capable of hosting up to 14 Swift nests and also to the people who contributed towards the costs and gave permission to put up the boxes on the eves of their roofs. There are now three sites around town and one outside town where the boxes have been located. It is hopeful that by playing recordings of the sounds of Swifts in early Summer, with the possibility of drawing in curious young Swifts to investigate and hopefully nest. The two Swift Boxes in place at the St. Mary’s Church are ideally situated with room for expansion and each box
can hold three nests.

Swift Boxes at St. Mary's Church Newmarket

Swift Boxes at St. Mary’s Church Newmarket

Last year, at the old Protestant Church, near the centre of Newmarket town, while works were being carried out on the building the provision for 43 nest holes were implemented and it is also hoped that there will be success with nesting here as well.

Potential Swift Nests

Artificial Swift Nests in the eaves of the Cultúrlann

Check out Birdwatch Ireland website ( for information on the

Swift Conservation Project.

A great project for Tidy Towns or interested individuals.