August 2nd 2021

Celebrating swifts in Hackney




Iveta Senasiova

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Earlier this summer, across De Beauvoir and beyond, residents celebrated Swift Awareness Week, which aims to raise the profile of the plight of the birds - which have an amber conservation status - and educate people on how to care for them.

Hackney and De Beauvoir Swifts Group had a successful evening walk on 8th July, logging swift nest sites and raising £90 to go towards more swift boxes for the area. The session formed part of a series of walks running across North London.

The De Beauvoir route began in Clissold Park and finished at The Royal Sovereign on Northwold Road, with the most swift sightings around Scholars Place and Chesholm Road.

The birds winter in Africa, returning to the UK each summer to breed. They are most numerous in the South and East, but can be spotted across the country.

During the summer months, local residents may be familiar with the impressive calls as the swifts fly fast and low around their nesting sites. The De Beauvoir community has always been supportive of the birds, with an estimated 50 boxes installed in the area.

To learn more, follow the De Beauvoir Swifts Group on Instagram @debeauvoirswifts or visit the Swift Group’s website.

Swift first aid

If you find a swift on the ground or in your home, here are some tips for what to do next.


We thank you to the De Beauvoir Swift Group for contributing to this article and for such a lovely event in the area. 


Photo credit:

A cat guarding nest sites and being dived bombed by crowds of furious screaming swifts, photo credit: Liz Fewings, Kirsten Foster (Hackney Swifts).

Photos from the community: De Beauvoir Swift Group.