Search for Kilkenny’s Nesting Swifts: We need your help this summer

Birdwatch Ireland, in partnership with the Heritage Office of Kilkenny County Council, are coordinating the first county wide Swift survey in Kilkenny this summer. and we need your help!

Swifts are a small migratory bird that flies to Ireland each summer from southern Africa. They nest 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. In Kilkenny, we’re starting with a county wide  survey to see how many Swifts there are, and where they are nesting in Kilkenny’s towns and villages

Swift Close-up (photo courtesy of Catherine Casey)

Swift Close-up (photo courtesy of Catherine Casey)

To find out more about Swifts and to help in the Kilkenny Swift Survey you are invited to join an online webinar on June 2nd at 7:30pm. To register your interest for the webinar email:

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

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