These remarkable long distance migrants, a traditional harbinger of summer, stays in Britain between May and early August. Uniquely, they stay airborne for most of their lives. They even mate in the air, resting only to care for their brood in the nest. "It forces us", Michael McCarthy considers, "to rethink radically our idea of what habitat means." Their scientific name, Apus apus, means literally without feet which reflects their evolutionary development. Its' dark colouring means tht it was known in the past as the "devil bird", although their joyful aerial displays make this decription somewhat incongruous. Opportunities to watch their acrobatics are unfortunately fewer these days, as the design of new buildings reduce nesting opportunities. Visit www.swift-conservation.org.uk to learn more and consider installing a swift specific nesting box which can be purchased from the site.