Thanks to the initiative of a parishioner, five nest boxes for Swifts have arrived and are now installed on the side wall of the presbytery overlooking the church car park. There is a smaller box with an electronic calling device (quite audible) which is intended to attract the Swifts. It hasn’t cost the parish money as a grant has been procured from Dublin City Council towards the purchase of the nest boxes. Swifts come to Europe each Summer from Africa arriving in this country at the end of April/beginning of May and they make their way back to Africa in August, a round trip of 14,000. They are one of the best flyers, having very rapid wing-beats (8 beats per second), followed by gliding and zooming about at very high speed. At night they sleep as high as 3,000 metres. They approach their nests at more than 40 miles per hour and come to a stop without slowing down. They do not normally land on the ground because it is difficult for them to take off. Swifts usually nest in the nooks and crannies of old buildings. However, as old buildings get knocked down or repaired, the swifts lose their usual nesting habitat. Putting up nest boxes for Swifts is one response to this problem. Keep your eyes peeled for Swifts around the church this Summer. Hopefully, they will lay some eggs and we will have young Swifts around for a couple of months before they fly off.