Launch of the Dublin City Swift Survey to help stop the decline in these small migratory birds that are annual visitors to our city

Councillor Heney wishes to advise constituents that Dublin City Council is inviting you to take part in the Dublin City Swift Survey and also to learn more about this intriguing urban bird species.

Recent studies show declines of 58% in less than 20 years, with Swifts now red-listed on the Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland list.

This summer, BirdWatch Ireland will conduct a Dublin City Swift Survey on behalf of Dublin City Council Parks, Biodiversity and Landscape Services as an action of the Dublin City Biodiversity Action Plan. Although finding, recording, and mapping Swift nesting sites is core to the Dublin City Swift Survey, BirdWatch Ireland will be making efforts online through social media and by other digital means to get local communities and residents involved by recording and reporting the presence of Swifts in their respective areas.

Swifts are a small migratory bird that visits Ireland each year to nest. They travel from southern Africa where they have spent over eight months of the year. Swifts have adapted to nesting in cavities where found in buildings in our cities, towns, and villages. Their future is seriously threatened in Ireland due primarily to the loss of nesting sites. From May to August each year you can encounter Swifts, you will usually hear Swifts before you see them and their distinctive ‘screaming’ call is uttered on the wing as they fly superbly over rooftops at high speed.

The City Council’s Biodiversity officer, Lorraine Bull, advises that there is a lot that can be done to halt the decline in the city’s Swift population, knowing how many Swifts there are and where they nest in the city and suburbs is the first step. The support and active engagement of local communities is critical to building greater awareness of this unique bird species and in undertaking conservation action where it is most needed.

Councillor Heney also advises of an opportunity for you to join Birdwatch Ireland’s free online webinar on the 20th May to find out more about swifts and the survey. To register your interest, email And to find out more about saving Swifts you can download the free guide here: