Students at Templemichael College in Longford saving endangered Swifts

Aoife Carberry

Reporter:

Aoife Carberry

Templemichael College students Jordan Kelly, Dean Norton, Danny Reilly and Krystian Surowiak, along with woodwork teacher Mr ORourke, manufactured artificial nesting boxes for swift, which are going to be placed at St Mel's Cathedral.
Students of Templemichael College have built artificial bird nests in order to help save the endangered Swift population.

Students of Templemichael College have built artificial bird nests in order to help save the endangered Swift population.

The students had a visit recently from local man Larry Mitchell, who gave them plenty of information on the birds.

As Deputy Principal and Woodwork teacher at Templemichael College, Mick O’Rourke explained; “He talked to the second years about the whole situation with the Swifts and their life cycle and all to do with them.

“Year on year, there’s less Swifts visiting these shores.”

Informed that Swifts dwell in enclosed areas, the students were also told that the birds once made their homes in the nooks and crannies of St Mel’s Cathedral.

However, when the Cathedral was gutted by fire in December 2009, the Swifts’ homes were also destroyed.

With this in mind, Mr O’Rourke and second year students Jordan Kelly, Dean Norton, Danny Reilly and Krystian Surowiak, set about making artifical nesting boxes for the Swifts.

The group spent a couple of days working on the project, creating an ideal environment for the Swifts. When they were completed, a number of the “nests” were placed around St Mel’s Cathedral and Connolly Barracks, with more to be placed around those areas in the near future.

The project is a unique one, and Mr O’Rourke is keen to see the students remain involved, particularly after all their hard work.

He added that both he and the students would like to put a camera into one of the “nests” in the coming years, to observe the way they are used by the birds.

Delighted to have participated in the conservation project, Mr O’Rourke also complimented his students on their commitment to the assignment.

“They’re very, very talented and dedicated woodwork students and they loved the woodwork side of it.

“They’re still plaguing me as to when we’re going up to see them in action!” he laughed.