Conservationists are hoping an initiative to save a bird population takes off.
The Huntly and District Swift Group has applied for listed building consent to place special bricks on the former foundry building in Inverurie to help save the species.
There are only three remaining colonies of the creatures in the town, with one residing at the former Loco Works site where work is underway to convert the old foundry into sheltered accommodation.
The special bricks are hollowed out and provide a safe and spacious area for swifts to nest.
Conservationists hope the move will bolster bird numbers, as the UK population has dropped by around 50% in the past 20 years, meaning the species is classified as endangered. The decline is attributed to changes in urban planning practices.
Cally Smith, 54, a member of the group, said: “Swifts usually nest in holes on the outside of buildings and over time those holes have been filled in due to repairs.
“They’re losing their habitat in the UK because people keep repairing the holes that they would nest in. They don’t re-locate very well, so it’s really important to give them somewhere to stay.
“What we’re trying to do is raise awareness so people don’t fill the holes in their houses, or to be aware that there may be swifts nesting there.
“The natural holes are the best thing to have, but if they have been repaired then these boxes or bricks will be used to mitigate that, because that will allow us to spread out the nesting area.”
The group is looking to hand out some special boxes to be attached to the side of buildings, which also act as nests.
Cally hopes people will take them up on the offer.
She added: “We’re working to try to make sure there is a place for them to nest during the summer, when they come back from the more tropical climate.
“There’s also deforestation of their tropical habitats, to make palm oil or for logging.”
She said: “We can supply external swift nest boxes to people, and we hope they would be able to put them on their houses.
“Swift numbers have halved in the last 20 years, so this is why we’re looking to do this.”
The special wooden boxes, which Cally describes as similar to a shoebox, need to be placed four-and-a-half metres (14.7ft) off the ground.
Cally and the other group members offer advice to homeowners, and can go to houses to recommend the best course of action for the animals.
It is hoped the installation of the boxes will be able to sustain more of the birds during their summer mating season. According to Cally, the number of swifts in Scotland is falling more rapidly than in the rest of Great Britain.
Huntly resident Cally said losing the species could upset the local eco-system and cause an overabundance of the insects that are eaten by the swifts.
To contact the conservation group for information on nest boxes, or to volunteer, email email@example.com