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Published on Jun 2, 2012
This video shows the major man-made Swift colony near the railway station in Grottammare, Marche, Italy. The Swifts are nesting in special nestplaces set into the roof of an elderly apartment block, right by the railway line. Filmed early in the morning in late May, 2012, the Swifts are seen both entering and checking nestplaces. Those hanging on to the nest holes are unlikely to be the breeders, but instead are juveniles or interlopers. Later on, the video shows a screaming party exhibiting their frenzied flying style. Swifts can fly like this because of their unique aerodynamic structure; they use leading edge vortex technology to achieve supreme agility in the air. Ages ago Swifts bred in holes in ancient trees. With the deforestation and commercialisation of forestry across the Old World, Swifts moved into buildings, a process that has probably gone on for at least 2000 years. More recently, changes to building construction and materials have disadvantaged Swifts with the result that their populations have crashed across the UK and Europe. Building in nest places for them in new and renovated buildings is the answer to saving this very special and beneficial bird, which can catch up to 20,000 insects each per day. See our web site www.swift-conservation.org for full information on how to help Swifts.