Nine metres above the ground, on the side of the one of the buildings at CEMEX’s Rugby Cement Plant, Mick and Alex attached 12 new ‘homes’ for Swifts.
Swifts are a quintessential sign of the British summer and although, towards the end of the season when Swifts visit this country, the new ‘homes’ may well attract some interest.
Incorporated into the ‘homes’ is a ‘caller’, a pre-recorded sound of a Swift’s call that plays at dusk and dawn to encourage new occupants to move in.
“I’m sure our new homes will be perfect for these amazing birds and hopefully over the coming years, they will make our Plant their UK destination. Swifts will soon be on their way back to Africa so our ‘new build’ is in preparation for next year. Next summer we look forward to seeing and hearing Swifts as they soar over Rugby rooftops on a summer’s evening,” comments Jamie Jordan, Environmental Manager, Rugby Cement Plant.
Swifts are the perfect house guest. They are only in the UK for three months of the year; make no mess when nesting and help get rid of flying insects and mosquitoes.
Sadly, their numbers have been rapidly declining, due in part it is thought, to the lack of homes in our urban environments. CEMEX is working in partnership with the RSPB to increase the biodiversity of its 400+ sites.
The introduction of the Swift boxes is one of the measures to help give nature a home. Rebecca Pitman, RSPB Swift Cities Project Officer, says: “The Swift is truly an urban bird and sadly they have declined by an alarming 47% between 1995–2014.
"They are now an amber-listed species on the list of Birds of Conservation Concern. When they arrive back in the UK from Africa they return to the exact same location year after year.
"Swifts like to nest in the rooftops of old buildings but developments and renovations often destroy suitable sites. The new CEMEX homes at the Cement Plant can offer this great bird a great home,” Rebecca concludes.