Swift secrets uncovered

Swifts’ secrets are being uncovered by backpacks in Northern Ireland. In June and July, dozens of the birds were fitted with tiny backpack transmitters by members of the BTO and the NI Swift Group in an attempt to better study their nesting and feeding behaviour.

As Swifts often feed many miles from their nest sites, it has proven difficult in the past to learn where birds from specific colonies forage for food.

With the dramatic decline in Swift numbers in recent years, partially caused by a loss of nesting sites, it is hoped that the project will allow conservationists to better protect nests and feeding areas.