Putting out a bird call to help declining swifts

Boxes for Swifts at Patrick Lepper's home in Kings Road, Berkhamsted.

Boxes for Swifts at Patrick Lepper's home in Kings Road, Berkhamsted.

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A BIRD fan is hoping to give a boost to the declining population of swifts by providing them with new nesting homes.

Patrick Lepper decided to get the bird boxes installed while the outside of his Kings Road home in Berkhamsted was being painted.

It meant scaffolding had to be put up posing the perfect opportunity to install six bird boxes with the help of local expert Hamish Burnett.

Swifts migrate to the area from Africa in the summer, spending May, June and July in England.

But the numbers of the birds have been falling and it is thought to be down to the loss of nesting sites due to householders blocking up openings under their roof eaves.

Now that the bird boxes are in place, Hamish will install a device to broadcast recorded swift calls to attract the attention of passing birds.

Patrick said: “We do not expect any nesting to take place this year – it is too late in the season – but we hope that some birds prospecting for next year’s nesting may notice the new site and perhaps even prepare nests for next year.”