2007.06.30. 09:23 Kókay Szabolcs
CALLING ON ALL EUROPEAN CAPITAL CITY BIRDERS
Common Swifts (Apus apus) are familiar birds in many European cities. They breed close to man – under the roofs or in cracks in the walls of buildings, bridges and other constructions. Their noisy flocks attract people’s attention and often remind us of warm summer evenings.
However, Common Swifts are also disappearing from many cities. The possible reasons for this are the decreasing availability of flying insects (their staple food) or the gradual improvement of buildings, which prevents swifts from access to suitable nesting places.
BirdLife International and RSPB are inviting you to contribute to a swift survey of Common Swifts in the capitals of the 27 Member States of the EU. The collected data will be used for media release drawing the attention of the public to the conservation issues around common and familiar birds and the quality of our living environment.
We ask for your help in this initiative. Here is what we want you to do:
• Undertake a 1-hour common swift, Apus apus, survey (and no other swift species), in the centre of your capital city.
• Counts should be undertaken in relatively warm conditions with only modest breeze, and preferably between the hours of 18.00 and 22.00 hrs.
• Observers should watch for a one-hour period and count the approximate number of swifts in parties they see flying over the city. They should count the birds seen and make a note of the number. Swifts in small parties can be counted individually, but for birds in larger parties it may be easier to count in groups of five, or ten, to come up with your best guesstimate.
• We then want observers to provide us with the maximum total number of swifts they, recorded in one of four categories (1) 0, (2) 1-10, (3) 11-100, (4) 101-1000.
• Zero counts are extremely valuable, so please send these in too!
• We ask that the survey is carried out on one evening between 25th June and 9th July
• Please feel free to repeat the survey on several evenings, if you wish to do so, and send us the maximum counts for each date.
• You need to provide: a) Date of the count, b) City name, and c) Maximum number of common swift seen in a simple table (see Annex).
• If you wish to take part or need more details then please respond by email to: