Writtle University College has installed six new Swift nest boxes on a building to encourage the threatened birds to breed.
The Swift boxes – which are elongated in shape with an oval hole - have been installed on one of the University College’s office buildings.
WUC’s Property staff used a cherry picker to install the boxes high up on the office building, which was chosen as it has quite an open situation and gives the birds a ‘runway’ to come in on.
Inside one of the boxes is a loudspeaker which emits Swift noises at dawn and dusk during Spring and Summer to help attract the birds in.
Swift Conservation provided the boxes and the technical know-how, while Essex Birdwatching Society funded their purchase.
Global Ecosystem Management Lecturer Alan Roscoe said: “Modern housing is not always very friendly to Swifts so anything we can do to improve their chances has to be good news. They are beautiful birds, with their scythe-like wings, screaming call – which many feel is the sound of summer - and their ability to sleep on the wing. Hopefully, students on our Global Ecosystem Management courses will be able to see the species successfully breed here in the Spring.”