How to help fledglings and swifts

Wild Wantage bird header


Young birds at fledging time don’t really need “rescuing” – usually just relocating out of harms way. Please don’t immediately take birds away from the scene and try and “rescue” them – just put them in a hedge/tree somewhere safe and leave them for the parent to care for – they are usually somewhere nearby! Birds can be incredibly hard to care for and wildlife rescue places just end up full up with fledging birds that didnt need rescuing in the first place.

This young tawny owl was perched very close to the ground and Mark Bradfield from the Letcombe Brook Project popped him up in a nearby tree out of the rain and away from potential predators. The parents will find it in the evening when it starts calling and come and feed it.

Can you install a swift box?

Swifts fly thousands of miles to breed here in the UK but are in serious decline, partly due to lack of nesting opportunities. Can you help these wonderful birds that liven up our skies over the summer?  It’s been a slow start to their nesting season here in the UK with the somewhat changeable weather.

Can you help provide a nest space for them on your house? You would ideally need to be in a street where there are already swifts nesting on a regular basis as they are social birds and are attracted to the calls of other swifts. We have some boxes our wonderful volunteers have made and these are available for a donation to the project (so we can replace materials).

The boxes would need to be placed at a minimum height of 5m, with clear flightpath to them and preferably on a North or East facing wall to prevent them getting too wet or hot (unless they can be sheltered under the eaves). Click here for more information about swift boxes

If you live in Wantage please contact if you would like a swift box or further advice.
Or anyone can go to for instructions to make their own boxes.
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Penny Post


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Covering: Hungerford, Marlborough, Wantage,   Lambourn, Newbury, Thatcham & Theale