Adaptation of exterior wall to allow swifts to nest (Spain)

Description of the Environmental Measure

Problem detected:

During the building of María Espinalt secondary school in Barcelona, the need to protect a population of swifts, which passed through the area during their spring migration, was detected.

Solutions adopted:

To this end, we liaised with Barcelona City Council and the Biodiversity Programme of the Department of Green Spaces and Biodiversity (Urban Ecology) to adapt the building’s façade to local biodiversity needs.

The measure implemented consisted of including components to facilitate nesting for the swifts on the building’s façade:

  • The opening proposal was made using a 3D-printing model.
  • Six units were installed, with entrance frames, 60x200 mm in size, giving access to an open space.
  • Nesting space protected from other birds and invasive species by means 88 mm of headroom and a width of 130 mm.
  • A second brick wall was prepared to partially close the nesting space and prevent nesting birds from occupying the whole roof.



When the works were completed, by spring time, the swifts were observed using the structures, which reaffirms the expected positive impact on local biodiversity.