Swifts diary

The colony of swifts that nests in the Museum tower has been the subject of a research study since May 1948. It is one of the longest continuous studies of a single bird species in the world, and has contributed much to our knowledge of the swift.


The average numbers of young swifts ringed each year over the last 50 years are:

  • 1963–72: 36.7
  • 1973–82: 70.4
  • 1983–92: 100.0
  • 1993–2002: 99.2
  • 2003–12: 81.1

Swifts Diary 2021

Swifts Diary 2021

  • May 5 2021
    After a Bank Holiday weekend of strong north easterly winds accompanied by heavy rain 2 swifts were sighted flying around the Museum’s tower as the sun came out on Tuesday the 5th, exactly on time for their average date for their arrival.  By midday the strengthening sun and light winds saw 5 birds tightly circling the tower and the first couple of tentative screams.