Swallow nesting action

In April 2021, the UNamur took part in the return of swallows to the centre of Namur by placing 34 double nests in the heart of its campus at numbers 61 and 39-49 rue de Bruxelles

The decline in the number of swallows and swifts over the last thirty years, mainly due to the disappearance of their nesting sites, and the verification of the phenomenon at the Corbeille in Namur during the last censuses, the AGE proposed to install swallow nests on the campus.

This proposal was well received by the Vice-Rectorate for Sustainable Development, especially since a similar initiative had already been initiated at the Ovine Research Centre of the Domaine d'Haugimont with the Cap'Hirondelles association in January 2019, allowing three new pairs of window swallows to find refuge.

An inventory of the locations favourable for swallow nesting on our campus was undertaken in the presence of the person in charge of the Study and Census of the Aves-Namur committee of Natagora (Fabien Dormal) and submitted to the expertise of Charlie Carels, head of the Swallows working group of Natagora.

Two main criteria were followed in the framework of this inventory:

  1. The quality of the environment
  • A northern or eastern exposure to avoid overheating of the nest in summer,
  • An overhang of about 50 cm above the nest to protect them from rain and possible predators,
  • No overhang under the nest or tree branches too close to the nest to avoid predation,
  • Space to fly.

 2. The proximity to existing nests.

Taking into account these criteria and the identification of occupied nests in the Rue des Croisiers within 300m of the campus as the birds fly, the two locations that were finally selected for these projects were:

  •     39-49 rue de Bruxelles (former Fortis bank),
  •     61 rue de Bruxelles.

The choice of nests was made for the Schwegler 310/2 model, the most efficient according to AVES Namur's information.

The installation in April 2021 went smoothly and the UNamur is proud to have 34 double nests and to have contributed to the return of the swallow in the centre of Namur.

Photos by JM Poncelet and Fabien Dormal