Leeds SwiftsSwift logo Janis Goodman

Aiming to make Leeds the swift capital of the UK

For many of us, the aerial screaming display of the swift once represented the sound of late summer in our towns and cities. Sadly, this sound is heard no more in many of our urban areas. The skies have fallen silent as more and more swift nesting sites are lost due to modern building methods, renovation and demolition.

Swift numbers have fallen by nearly 40% in the last 20 years. They need our help urgently. Can you provide a space for swifts?

Leeds Swifts is part of a UK-wide network of swift volunteers promoting the plight and conservation of these amazing aerial specialists. We can provide help and advice to anyone who is thinking about

  1. protecting existing swift colonies when renovating their home
  2. providing a home for swifts by erecting nest boxes

See what is possible by looking at the Leeds Swifts colony in Gledhow on our Facebook page. You can also find us on Twitter @LeedsSwifts.

Contact Leeds Swifts leeds.swifts@gmail.com or download these leaflets
Leeds Swifts leaflet for information about how you can help us in Leeds
SLN How you can help swifts for 6 easy steps and links to lots of resources.

What to do if you find a grounded swift

Because swifts use tiny holes under a roof space, chicks often fall out of the nest if they get too warm or simply if they start to move around to exercise their wings. Swift chicks stay in the nest for a remarkable 40-45 days depending on the abundance of insects. They are not able to fly until they are fully developed then they make their way to Africa, unaided, without ever perching. In fact, after fledging, a swift might not land again for 2-3 years. This highly developed aerial specialist needs an insectivorous diet to survive. If you find a grounded swift please follow these instructions

  1. do not throw it into the air under any circumstances
  2. make sure that you have correctly identified the bird – Am I a swift
  3. contact your nearest swift group – find one here
  4. alternatively, contact Linda on 07778 768719, Martin 07840 838764 at Leeds Swifts or email leeds.swifts@gmail.com. You can also contact us via our Facebook page
  5. please do not feed the bird meat, mealworms or seed or put it in a cage. Use a deep plastic container – remember that this bird is unable to fly.

Hopefully we can get it the help it needs as quickly as possible and enable it to fledge successfully. If you don’t live in Leeds then there may be a swift rehabilitator nearer you or you may be able to help the swift yourself. Check out Swift First Aid page for help and advice or to find carers in the UK


Useful Links

Like Leeds Swifts on Facebook Follow @LeedsSwifts on Twitter


Thanks to the artist Janis Goodman, our patron, for allowing us to use ‘Swift Arrival’ as our logo.