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Join the Antrim and Newtownabbey Swift Survey

20 June 2016

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Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor John Scott and Councillor Neil Kelly, Swift Champion of the Borough pictured with staff and pupils of Crumlin Integrated Primary School's Eco-committee at the launch of the 2016 Swift Survey.

Did you know that a swift can fly an average of 500 miles in one day, catching more than 100,000 insects on its journey? Why not join the great Antrim and Newtownabbey Swift Survey and find out more interesting facts about these unique birds.

Taking place at several venues throughout the Borough from 20 June to 2 August, these surveys offer a great opportunity to explore and record important nesting sites of the swift as well as how we can get involved in conserving our swift population.

Councillor Neil Kelly, Swift Champion for the Borough was delighted to attend the launch of the 2016 Swift Survey at Crumlin Integrated Primary School; “Swifts are a remarkable, dark coloured bird which speed and scream around our buildings during the summer months. They are almost totally dependent on humans for their nest sites and in some places their numbers are declining as the way we renovate and modernise our properties leaves them with fewer places to nest. We are therefore in a unique position to help them”.

Principal of Crumlin Integrated Primary, Mrs Boal, said; “Our school has been involved in helping the swift in Crumlin since 2008. The pupils are fascinated by the swift nest boxes at the school and we are proud to be actively taking action for our local biodiversity, by helping in the conservation of the swift”.

William Smiton, a member of the RSPB Antrim Local Group said, “The Swift survey is an excellent opportunity to record important nest sites of these fascinating and mysterious birds and how we can all play a part in their survival by establishing and maintaining Swift nesting places”.

William continued: “Swifts have been identified as an important species in the Borough of Antrim and Newtownabbey and are a priority species in Northern Ireland. Swifts make good neighbours, sharing your house with Swifts is a great privilege. They are unobtrusive when nesting and make perfect, quiet neighbours”.

The Borough of Antrim and Newtownabbey is an ideal location to see swifts due to the rich insect supply for them to feed on over Lough Neagh. Taking part in the Swift Survey is a great way to get involved in local biodiversity action in the Borough.
For a full list of dates and venues of the Swift Survey, log onto www.antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk/swifts

For further information contact Ruth Wilson, Biodiversity Officer T. 028 9446 3113 ext. 31371 or E. [email protected]