Friday, 12 July 2019

Swift Nests

The Swifts Apus apus (Fr. Martinets noirs) are here in noisy profusion at the moment. They seem to have had a good breeding season and will soon be on their way back to Africa for the winter, having gobbled up a good proportion of our mosquitos over the summer to feed themselves and their chicks.

Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
Swift nest entry points marked in white and green on one of the towers of the Chateau du Grand Pressigny. You can see a swift just about to enter the hole on the left.

If you are renovating your house, especially the exterior or roof, spare them a thought. Are you sure you don't have Swifts nesting in your roofspace or crevices in the walls? If you do, please be careful not to block up their entry holes. If you don't, please consider providing nest boxes. They can be discreetly fitted and Swifts are very clean and tidy guests.

If you want to know more about helping Swifts you can contact SOS Martinets (in French or English), a local organisation based in Amboise. They will be only too happy to answer your questions, provide you with instructions for making and/or placing nest boxes and other advice about Swift conservation and why it matters. If you need professional information to give to your architect or builder to educate or encourage them to help, this Swiss brochure is good.

Swifts are listed as Nationally Threatened in France, and a protected species (therefore it is illegal to disturb them or damage their nests during renovations, and builders in the Loire Valley have been charged with this offence).


For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

We are also on Instagram, so check us out to see a regularly updated selection of our very best photos. 


Unknown said...

That is a great photo of a nest site. Do you know anything about those small, regularly spaced holes in the cornice ? We have just completed another survey of nest sites on the château de Chambord ( over 50)and almost all of them are in such openings.Our results will be sent to the MNHN & for the first time the swift wil be recorded as nesting there !

Susan said...

No, I don't know what the small holes actually are.

Post a Comment