The playing of attraction calls is the nearest thing to a 'silver bullet' in encouraging Swifts to occupy new nesting places.
The Cheng Sheng player-amplifier
The components needed are low cost, easy to install and easy to control with a digital or mechanical timer. Calls, in MP3 format, can be held on an SD card or a USB memory stick.
|Components of attraction call system|
Attach 1 (or more) tweeter(s) (polarity does not matter).
Websites for the components:
12 volt battery-driven systems
|Power polarity of the Cheng Sheng|
|Schematic showing component connections|
When to play attraction calls
In all situations, attraction calls are essential to accelerate the process. As a sample of success, by 2014, 25 of 40 projects (62.5%) playing attraction calls had at least 1 pair of Swifts. However, nest boxes installed as a replacement for lost nest sites can be very successful, even without playing attraction calls.
Place tweeters close to the nest boxes where they cannot get damp e.g. on, under or in a box. Or from a sheltered window sill or even at ground level.
The attraction call season:
Start from mid-May if the situation is a new site, where there have been no breeding swifts. This is when prospecting young Swifts begin to arrive.
After you have attracted your first pair, continue playing to get more, you will not frighten established birds away. However, after a certain level of occupancy, you increase the chances of attracting intruders into occupied boxes, resulting in fights. If this happens, then it may be advisable to stop playing the calls.