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Search for Waterford’s Nesting Swifts – We need your help this summer

BirdWatch Ireland, in partnership with the Heritage Office of Waterford City and County Council, are coordinating a nesting Swift survey over the summer months to identify the remaining nest sites still used by Swifts in the county. The project aims to build-on and complement the work of the West Waterford Eco Group who have successfully catalogued Swift nest sites in the west of the county in recent seasons.

Swifts are a small migratory bird that flies to Ireland each summer from southern Africa. They nest where suitable cavities can be found in buildings in our cities, towns, and villages. From May to August each year you can encounter Swifts, you will usually hear Swifts before you see them, their distinctive ‘screaming’ call is uttered on the wing as they fly superbly at high speed over rooftops.

However, their future is seriously threatened in Ireland mainly due to the loss of suitable nesting sites. Studies show an almost 58% decline of Swifts in Ireland, and their survival is under threat. As a result, they have been added to the red list of Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland.

The good news is that there is a lot that we can all do to halt the decline and the survey will help identify where these conservation measures are required most urgently.

The support and active engagement of the public throughout Waterford is critical to the success of the project. This summer, BirdWatch Ireland, in partnership with the Heritage Office of Waterford City and County Council, will conduct a County Swift Survey in Waterford and we are asking interested people, communities, Tidy Towns groups, residents, and families to get involved by recording and reporting the presence of Swifts in their areas.

BirdWatch Ireland has already successfully completed Swift Surveys in eleven counties including in the neighbouring county of Tipperary and this summer will be actively surveying in three more counties, namely, Kilkenny, Dublin City and Waterford. BirdWatch Ireland acknowledges the massive efforts of West Waterford Eco Group and others who have made huge efforts to record Swift nest sites and take practical action to protect these birds in towns such as Dungarvan, Ardmore and Cappoquin.

To find out more about Swifts and to help in the Waterford Swift Survey you are invited to join an online webinar on Thursday June 3nd at 7:30pm. To register your interest for the webinar email:

This project is co-funded by Waterford City and County Council and The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, through the National Parks and Wildlife Service’s National Biodiversity Action Plan Fund.

If you would like more information, please email or call Ricky Whelan (BirdWatch Ireland Project Officer) at


For media queries please contact: Ricky Whelan, BirdWatch Ireland Project Officer 085 783 2545

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