Edinburgh aims to become a sanctuary for swifts. The UK population dropped from 125,500 to 59,000 between 1995 and 2016, reports the BBC.
Nesting sites are being lost in older buildings, as crevices are blocked when the buildings are renovated or disappear when they are demolished. The Edinburgh Swift City Project is asking people to make swift nest boxes.
Residents are asked to report sightings of swift screaming parties; this behaviour is a sign that the swifts are breeding nearby. Hubs are being created on a cycle route through the city to provide nest boxes and raise awareness.
Head of the Edinburgh Swift City Project Katie O’Neill said, ‘Swifts come back to Edinburgh in May, so we need as many nesting boxes as people can make and erect on their homes across the city. Their food source of insects is also declining and their migration routes are being impacted by climate change.’