Successful breeding of common swifts in Swedish Lapland

This year’s field work in northern Swedish Lapland revealed a successful breeding year, as the spring and summer weather was much warmer providing better feeding conditions and more aerial insects for the common swifts than the previous year. The nest boxes made out of natural spruce stems, and set up in gardens and safe places provide new and good breeding sites as the natural breeding sites in old pine trees in the forests has largely decreased due to heavy logging. Kind local people caring for the swifts set up the boxes and make sure they are protected against wear and damage. It is obvious, however, that there is an urgent need to spare old pine trees and trees with woodpecker holes in order to provide natural nest sites for the common swifts and other birds by the forest industry. This year was spectacular as we were able to catch an individual breeding swift which had escaped our nets in the last two years. It all happened when we caught swifts in the last evening. The even better news was that the individual carrying the logger was in great shape and had three well-fed young in the nest. Three-egg clutches are uncommon in the northern breeding range.

Susanne Åkesson

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