Restoration Potential: Readily adapts to anthropogenic structures for nesting and roosting; therefore likely to establish in new or historic localities with the construction of buildings that provide sunlight-excluding, vertical, rough-surfaced shafts.
Preserve Selection and Design Considerations: Suitable nesting habitat includes appropriate nest structures (vertical shafts that exclude sunlight) and an abundance of flying insect prey. Minimum area requirements are unknown, although known to forage a mile (1.6 km) or more from the nest (Fischer 1958).
Management Requirements: Dark, vertical shafts having rough interior surfaces that facilitate roosting (e.g., chimneys, hollow trees) are essential for nesting and roosting. Chimneys with smooth surfaces (e.g., metal flue pipe) should be capped to prevent swift entrapment. Chimneys should be kept free of creosote (clean before birds return from wintering grounds) as creosote build-up increases the likelihood of nest detachment from the chimney wall. The chimney damper should be kept closed during the nesting season to prevent swifts from entering the building (Kyle and Kyle 1999).
Management Research Needs: Determining trends in the use of chimney screening and the construction of new homes having chimneys with rough interior surfaces would be useful in assessing breeding habitat availability. Need to study winter ecology, determine the influence of flying insect abundance and unseasonably cold or prolonged wet weather on reproductive success, and research design and construction of artificial nest sites. Need to identify important factors that regulate populations, including any impact the use of insecticides may have on reproductive success or survival.
Biological Research Needs: Winter ecology needs study.
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