Contributed by Norman Deans van Swelm, adapted by Dick
As in many other places, Swifts, House Sparrows, Starlings, Bats and House Martins all lose out when modern roof renovations conform to government regulations, where, in the Netherlands, all roofs must be delivered "mouse free".
However, as the nests of Swifts are protected by law, the village council provided funds for nest boxes to compensate for the loss of nest-sites. The nest boxes were designed by Martin van de Reep so that the new entrances could be as close as possible to the old entrances.
Roughly 80% of the 168 boxes installed in 2011 were visited by Swifts that same year. Originally, many of the Swifts entered the roof at the end of the gutter. Others accessed their nests via an entrance next to the rain pipes. It took a while before the birds realised that the former entrance had been blocked by a nest box.
Initially there were quite a few fights between pairs competing for the same nest box.
In 2012, 130 young were ringed.
Also in 2012, House Martins took advantage of the new nest boxes provided. They only needed to use a fraction of the amount of mud that they normally use to reduce the size of the entrance
|The previous entrance was behind the pipe. This Swift has successfully found the new entrance.|
|The new nest boxes do not detract from the appearance of the houses|
|This is a rather nice outcome|
|These minimum dimensions are for guidance. One would not want less than 250mm for the depth.|
The length could be made longer than 300mm.