The breeding season is upon us, but for some birds, finding a suitable and safe nesting site can prove to be a challenge. To ensure safe nesting sites, BirdLife Cyprus placed 30 nest boxes for Common Swifts at five Cyta buildings in Nicosia, Larnaka and Limassol. The nests are specially designed to attract Common Swifts and are now ready to welcome their first pairs.
The placement of nest boxes was coordinated by BirdLife Cyprus as part of its efforts to conserve the Common Swift population in Cyprus. Cyta, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility programme, has installed the nests on its buildings as well as special equipment for this purpose, contributing to the conservation of biodiversity in our country.
The degradation and loss of biodiversity is happening on a global scale and affects Common Swifts too. The two greatest threats that Common Swifts face are the intensification of agriculture, which results in the reduction of food availability (insects) and the loss of nesting sites. Unlike Barn Swallows, Common Swifts do not build nests. Instead, they choose to breed in small holes under roofs, tiles or eaves – usually found in old buildings. Such spaces have however become increasingly hard to find, due to the fast-paced modernization of the urban landscape. As their population is decreasing, both in Cyprus and in other parts of the world, the placement of nest boxes has proven to be an effective measure to offset this loss.
Common Swifts have managed to intrigue and fascinate nature lovers all over the world thanks to their unique characteristics. They are the only birds that do everything on the wing: they mate, sleep and drink in the air while also consuming massive quantities of insects. These aerial birds arrive to our island beginning of February to breed and by the end of July they start to return to Africa where they spend the winter.