Wednesday, 18 May 2016

They are a Wild Bunch in Cavan

In the first of a series of Swift project blogs we are over to county Cavan to see how the students and staff at Scoil Bhríde Killeshandra are progressing with their school swift project. 

For those not familiar with the place, Killeshandra is a small town situated to the northwest of Cavan town and is right in the heartland of the lakes of Cavan. 

Putting Killeshandra on the map Google Maps

Last year the newly formed "Wild Bunch"  got plans underway to attract nesting Swifts to their primary school and there has been super progress so far!

Newly Installed Swift Boxes 

Over to Bridie and Siobhán for the update.(thanks to both for words and photos)

Following consultation with Brian Caffrey of Birdwatch Ireland and on his recommendations we installed four swift boxes up on the side of the school – north east facing. One has a camera installed and connected to a classroom. We have a CD playing "swift calls" hooked up to an amplifier which entices them to the box.  We have had numerous sightings of swifts around the school and last weekend there was some nesting materials left in the nest box, however there has been no more activity as yet. 

Close up of Swift "Woodcrete" box (left), wooden box and amplifier unit (right)

We have a Committee set up called the "Wild Bunch" who is keeping an eye on the bird boxes for nesting progress and maintaining the garden.  

"Wild Bunch" members out on a campus Swift patrol 

The project was part funded by Cavan County Council - Local Agenda 21 and local fundraising. 

Many thanks
Bridie and Siobhán  

We were absolutely delighted to hear about how well the project has progressed. Fingers crossed that Swifts will find and occupy the specialised swift boxes this season but it can be a long game when it comes to this species and it may take many more seasons before we see tenants at Scoil Bhríde, Killeshandra. 

We are standing by to hear if this year will produce the goods in Co Cavan.

For more information on Swifts and how to help them have a look at our Swift Project Web Pages.


  1. Good Luck. ... I put 6 boxes up last year, here in north Antrim, so I'm in the same position as yourselves this year ... just hoping that I get a couple taking up residence in one of my boxes.

    1. Fairplay Dick, Great to hear about all the efforts going into looking after Swifts. Have you a speaker playing the calls?

      Can you imagine the thrill for the students at Killeshandra if Swifts colonise the see their project through from planning to nesting Swifts would give them a great buzz.

      Let us know if you get results this season.