In 1980 when we moved from downtown Tilburg to the north of the town, I misted the big groups of whistling common swifts during the beautiful summer evenings. Only in the neighbourhood of the Schans and the Leharstreet was a colony. This is an old hamlet they build, from 1960 to 1975, new housing estates. After a couple of years the number of common swifts, were decreasing.

Apus apus.

English name, Common Swift.
Length, 16 to 17 cm.
Wingspan, 42 to 48 cm.

Summer-visitor, April to August.
Winter, South Africa.

Identification, forages often high in the sky, wings sickle-shaped, flight in turn with rapid beat its wings and long glides.

Details, out off the breeding-season he always lives in the sky. His highest quickness is 160 km an hour. Especially complete whistle flight on summer evenings are striking.

More information about Common Swifts.

In the spring of 1999, I read an article of Hans Remmen in the newspaper. On behalf of the Common swift Study group Holland, he wants to install a number of boxes in Tilburg, to give nesting-places for common swifts. I have seen lots of common swifts looking for nesting-places in our neighbourhood. When I read the article, I contacted Hans. The result was the attachment of 5 nesting boxes on my house. Moved by Hans enthusiasm and knowing I could do something for common swifts it started.


Photo: Petra Hardmann.