Bird enthusiasts across the UK are on the watch for the swift. The common swift is a summer migrant in the UK. They usually begin their journey in mid-July and arrive in Africa by mid-August, passing through about 25 countries.

Unfortunately, the swift’s population has declined by 62% in the last 25 years. Local and national groups have been set up to help protect the species. Swifts fly to the UK from Africa every year. Conservation groups are urging people to put nest boxes on their houses and gardens to help provide places for swifts to nest. Part of the drop in population is due to a lack of nesting sites, as well as pesticides in their food sources.

Edward Mayer, who runs the Swift Conservation website, said: “Swifts bring our towns and cities alive with the sound of their spectacular screaming parties and their fantastic aerodynamic flights. We need to keep this unique experience alive and local groups across the country have shown how to do it! This iconic bird has declined drastically and it needs all the help it can get. So join your local group or set up a new one and start making a difference to our threatened biodiversity.”

Bird watchers gawk at the aerial acrobatics of the swift, who are only in the area for a short time each summer before their migratory patterns pull them away. Lev Parikian wrote in The Guardian, “The speed is one thing – when they fly low you can hear the whoosh of displaced air – but it’s the maneuverability that has me gawping. To earthbound humans, flight is freedom, and the swifts’ flight is its embodiment.”

Every night, up to 200 birds die as a result of crashing into a large building called McCormick Place. Turning off the lights, however, could save thousands of lives. Sign this petition to convince the convention center to prioritize birds and turn off as many lights as possible!

Read more news about birds in One Green Planet, including NYC’s new law to protect birds from glass, birds found dead in RomeAudubon Society’s warning on climate change and birdsthe scientists that studied climate change’s effect on birds, how methane gas from landfills harms birds, and why you shouldn’t buy a pet bird.

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