The Mouth – Bournemouth – Poole – Christchurch

June Species of the Month – Swift Apus apus

Swift Apus apus

Swift –
Apus apus

Ecology and Conservation: Swifts are highly aerial birds, in fact the scientific name Apus apus means “without feet” as these birds live the majority of their lives on the wing and so have evolved to have small feet. Swifts are summer visitors to Britain where they will stay only for a few months whilst they breed before returning to Africa.

Swifts feed on flying insects in a similar to manner to swallows and martins with which they share the summer skies. A steady decline in the population of swifts recorded in Britain has largely been attributed to a lack of suitable nest sites. Swifts nest in eaves and gables of traditional buildings, modern and renovated houses generally exclude the birds from accessing suitable nest sites. Several designs of swift nest boxes are now available to buy and these can be a suitable alternative for the birds.

Identification: Swifts are sooty brown in colour with a pale throat patch but generally appear black against the sky. They have a short forked tail and distinctive scythe-shaped wings in silhouette. They can often be seen in small fast groups weaving through the rooftops calling in loud screams.

Records: If you have seen a swift flying in the skies above your garden, local streets or park/nature reserves in Bournemouth then please let us know.

Please email Heather Dixon: heatherdixon@bnss.org.uk

(Or online for those of you who have joined Living Record – if you are interested in wildlife recording contact Heather for details of how to join Living Record.)

Bournemouth Naturally 

The Bournemouth Naturally project aims to build up a picture of biodiversity in Bournemouth through creation of a database of your wildlife sightings. Each month will feature a species, if you have seen it in your garden or local greenspace then please let us know.

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