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  • Writer's pictureDionne Swift

Swift by name, Swift by nature

The other day Mark sent me the post below from the RSPB facebook page..it sums up our existence very well indeed! Simply swap Africa for Italy ...We're always on the go! It made me chuckle.

Every summer, since dinosaurs roamed the Earth, swifts have graced the skies.


Today, swifts fly non-stop from Africa to the UK each year - a journey of over 6,000 miles. In late April or May, the sound of swifts calling on arrival is a momentous and magical moment for any nature lover.


Their journey is incredible. Once away from their nests, they never land. They feed on flying insects as they go, often at a height of 100 metres. Above our vast oceans, they congregate together in the air to keep warm and fed. They can even sleep as they fly, snoozing one side of the brain at a time.


Swifts only spend a few months here, to nest and rear a single brood of just one or two chicks. Then, as a family, they make their return journey back through France and Spain to spend their winter in Africa. Swifts can fly an impressive 500 miles a day on migration, and members of the swift family are the fastest birds in level flight.


They pair for life, and each couple meet at the same nesting site on UK soil every spring. This is usually a cavity high up in a building, or occasionally a cliff or tree. Both adult swifts share the responsibility of building a nest, and they return to renovate and inhabit the same nest year after year.


We believe that the remarkable journeys these amazing birds undertake to raise their young here, before our eyes, deserve celebration.

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