Statistics for 2014
This year the first swift was spotted around the Museum tower on Monday 5th May. Details of nesting pairs and their chicks will be updated week by week through the summer months. More about swifts in Oxford
See below for the week by week diary.
- 6th May 2014
The first swift to return to the tower was seen yesterday. By this morning there were at least nine flying around. They are back a week later than the last few years.
- 12th May 2014
The swifts have begun to build nests in 22 boxes. There are already 4 near complete nests.
- 19th May 2014
There are now nests in 27 boxes, some have adults sitting, and at least 2 nests have one egg. Nearly all the boxes on the uppermost tier are occupied.
- 2 June 2014
There has been a lot of cold and wet weather during the last week, and there are now only 24 active nests. Some of the birds have rejected eggs. There are 5 nests with eggs, and a further 6 nests with birds sitting.
- 9 June 2014
The weather has turned fine and the swifts are screaming round the tower today. This morning we saw 26 nests, although one of these has been abandoned. There were 14 birds sitting, and some of the nests had 2 adults present. We also saw 12 eggs on nests where no adult was present. The bird visible on the webcam is sitting on 1 egg.
- 16 June 2014
The weather is overcast, breezy and warm. We now have a chick in the online nest - it hatched at the end of last week. In total there are 24 nests, with 17 adults sitting and 7 eggs visible. There were 2 young visible (in addition to our online chick), and we could hear young in at least one other nest.
- 23 June 2014
The last week has been sunny and warm - excellent for the swifts. There are now 31 nests occupied, 19 of them with adults sitting. There were 22 young visible in the nests when we checked this morning, and 12 eggs. Our online chick online chick is growing fast.
- 30 June 2014
The weather has been good again, except for some heavy rain on Friday. There are currently 27 active nests. There were 26 youngsters visible this morning, and a further 10 eggs. There were 12 adults sitting on eggs or young, and 9 other adults in the nest boxes. Our online chick online chick continues to thrive.
- 7th July 2014
The weather remains warm and and the chicks are growing fast. Today we saw 26 youngsters in 13 nests; 6 of the chicks were big enough to ring. There were a further 9 adults sitting on either eggs or small chicks. There are still 27 active nests in total.
- 14th July 2014
There are now 34 active nests, and we saw 8 adults and 29 young birds in them. One egg is visible, and 6 adult swifts are sitting on eggs.
- 21st July 2014
The online camera has been moved: the swift in the nest is ready to fledge and will probably fly this week, if the weather stays good. The camera is now pointing at a nest with 2 younger birds in it. Currently 22 nests are active; 33 youngsters were counted today, and 23 have now been ringed. Three pairs of birds are sitting on nests – there may be eggs or very small young in these nests. The swifts are enjoying the warm but thundery weather. None have fledged yet, but some are expected to during the next week.
- 28th July 2014
Seventeen of a total of 35 young have already fledged. 25 young have been ringed so far; the rest are not big enough to ring yet. There are now only 11 active nests. The hot and humid weather has been good for the swifts. It has been a better breeding season than last year.
- 4th August 2014
A lot of the young have fledged, and there are only 7 active nests now. We counted 15 young and 3 adults in the nests. We ringed 8 young birds.
- 11th August 2014
Most of the swifts have flown the nest now, and there are just 9 young left in 5 nestboxes. In total 36 young have been raised this year, and all the chicks have been ringed.
- 18th August 2014
The weather has been showery but mild this week. There are now only 4 active nests, and it seems likely that 5 of 6 remaining youngsters will have fledged by the end of the week. There is one much smaller chick with at least a couple of weeks to go.
- 26th August 2014
It has been another wet week, but still mild which is good for the swifts. We are nearly at the end of the season with just two active nests remaining. In one the chick will fledge very soon, the parents have probably already left. The smaller chick has about another week to go. We cannot get the camera to this nest so there will be no more live streaming of the swifts this summer.
- 1st September 2014
There is now just one chick left in the Museum tower. We expect it to fledge sometime this week.
- 8th September 2014
The final chick has flown the nestbox. In total 36 young have been raised this year, and all the chicks have been ringed.
Ringing a swift chick
The average numbers of young swifts ringed each year over the last 50 years are:
- 1963-1972 36.7
- 1973-1982 70.4
- 1983-1992 100.0
- 1993-2002 99.2
- 2003-2012 81.1