THE RSPB is asking members of the public to be on the alert for ‘screaming’ swifts flying low around buildings.

The high pitched call and low swirling are signs that the birds are nesting nearby.

Swifts almost always nest on or in buildings and the RSPB, which has an office at Denby Dale, is warning that some people are breaking the law by fitting plastic spikes around swifts’ nests.

The wildlife charity’s annual ‘swift search’ is in full swing, with the summer migrants now nesting around the UK for the summer.

Swifts have declined by a third in recent years. They have been placed on the amber list, which means they are a serious conservation concern.

The causes of the decline are still unclear, but loss of nest sites due to building works or demolition is a major problem.

The picture is not all bad, however. The RSPB reports that some building companies are now fitting nestbox bricks into new buildings. In addition, some members of the public are creating new nests for swifts during renovation works to their homes.

The charity would like any sightings of swifts reported to their website at