7th International
Swift Conference

Trieste, Italy. Wednesday 29th to Friday 31st May, 2024

Graphics: Sara Lazzari ©

International Swift Conference

The 7th International Swift Conference will be held in Trieste in May 2024, hosted by Liberi di Volare.

The conference is the continuation of the series of swift conferences, the most recent having being held in Segovia in May 2022, and the preceding one in Tel Aviv in March 2018. The conference brings together a wide range of people working with swifts, “the most aerial of birds”: conservationists, researchers, ornithologists, citizen scientists and many more.

The conference will be held at the Teatro Miela, https://www.miela.it, located near the central station, close to the waterfront and downtown Trieste. The format of the conference will follow that of previous years with contributions centred on swifts and related subjects. We welcome contributions on conservation, biology, rehabilitation, migration, citizen science, activity reports of associations dealing with swifts, and so on. Participants will be invited to submit abstracts of their work, and an international advisory committee will select those for oral presentations and for poster presentations.

Following the tradition of past conferences, the location of the next conference will be selected in the last session of the last day, after voting by the people present. If you are interested in hosting the conference in 2026, please think of preparing a presentation, and we will insert presentation in the program.

If you wish to receive further information about the conference, drop us a line at: swiftstrieste2024@gmail.com.

With the contribution of the
Municipality of Trieste

With the contribution of the  Civic Museum of Natural History of Trieste

With the patronage of the 
Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia and 
Regional Council

With the patronage of
Sivas Zoo


Friuli Venezia Giulia

Trieste is a cosmopolitan city located in North East Italy, with splendid views of the Adriatic Sea, and a history dating back more than 2000 years – its name in Latin was Tergeste – and there are remains of the Roman amphitheater and forum.
There are colonies of common, pallid and alpine swifts in and around Trieste.

Not far from Trieste, there are lagoons and wetlands teeming with bird life, such as the Isola della Cona, or the Marano Lagoon.

Trieste is the capital of the Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, the Region with the highest level of biodiversity in Italy. The Region stretches from the Alps to the Adriatic sea, providing environments suitable for a wide range of flora and fauna, from the Alpine Ibex to the Proteus (or Olm, a blind amphibian living in the local caves) to Eurasian Griffon Vultures.


The geographical location of Trieste, at the meeting point of Austrian, Slovene and Italian societies, has ensured a rich and vigorous culture, from literature to music to the culinary arts. Trieste is the coffee capital of Italy, with many well-known brands produced in and around the city.


Local organizing committee

  • Silvana Di Mauro (chair)
    Silvana Di Mauro
  • Kevin Prince
  • Sara Lazzari
  • Tiziana Benevol
  • Michele Meola
  • Enrico Benussi
  • Stefano Pesaro
  • Flavio Strolego

International program committee

  • Stefano Pesaro (chair), Italy
    Pesaro Stefano
  • Kevin Prince (secretary), Italy
  • Edward Mayer, UK
    Edward Mayer
  • Francesco Mezzatesta, Italy
    Francesco Mezzatesta
  • Lyndon Kearsley, Belgium
  • Lynda Huxley, Ireland
    Lynda Huxley
  • Mauro Ferri, Italy
  • Michael Helm, USA
  • Carolyn Knowlman, France
    Carolyn Knowlman
  • Alexandru Stahl, Romania
    Alexandru Stahl

Program of the 7th International Swift Conference

Tuesday, 28th May 2024

19:00 Piazza Unità (south east end, under the portico of the City of Trieste building)
Informal get-together for delegates who have arrived, followed by a “brindisi”.

Plenary talks have a duration of 45 minutes, including questions. Contributed talks have 20 minutes time available, including questions.

Wednesday, 29th May 2024

8:15-9:00 Collection of name tags and conference packs at the reception, Teatro Miela
9:00-9:30 Introduction and welcome by local authorities; opening of the conference
The meeting will be addressed by: Silvana Di Mauro, president of the conference and Liberi di Volare, and representatives of the City of Trieste and the Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. Addresses in Italian will be translated into English (not simultaneously)
9:30-10:15 Plenary talk – Susanna Åkesson, Lund University, Sweden. Swift Migration

Oral contributions Migration and climate change.
10:15-10:35 Christoph M. Meier – Within and between-individual variation in migration strategies – Is there a genetic basis? – Abstract
10:35-11:00 Coffee break
11.00-11:20 Susanna Meyer – Five is one too many – observations on two breeding pairs of the Common Swift – Abstract
11:20-11:40 Jarek Majkusiak – The Future of Swift Research and Conservation – Abstract
11:40-12:00 Giulia Masoero – Changes in body size and shape of Alpine swifts in response to climate change – Abstract
12:00-12:20 Angel Velasco – Relationship between Common Swift grounded chicks and meteorological conditions in Toledo (central Spain) – Abstract
12:20-12:40 General discussion of session themes
12:40-14:15 Lunch at Restaurant Spiller

14:15-15:00 Plenary talk – Abraham Shokouhi, Teheran, Iran. Common Swift and Pallid Swift Conservation in Iran using citizen science – Abstract

Oral contributions.Urban conservation, citizen science, mapping populations
15:00-15:20 Laura Falcinelli – The Case of the Restoration of St Stefano’s Church in Assisi – Abstract
15:20-15:40 Jesper Toft – SOS Swift – Status of the campaign in Denmark 2017 – 2023 – Abstract
15:40-16:10 Coffee break
16:10-16:30 Contribution withdrawn. The following talks will start 20 minutes earlier than scheduled
16:30-16:50 Rick Wortelboer – Swift Population Size Protocol in the Netherlands – Abstract
16:50-17:10 Giuliana Pulvirenti – APUS &Co TRACKER: a 3 years study. Using Citizen Science to spread environmental awareness, map colonies and findings of fallen swifts (Apus sp.) and swallows (Hirundo rustica, Delichon urbicum) and promote wildlife conservation. – Abstract
17:10-17:30 Jacques Laesser – PopMon: An online tool to collect, manage and provide data on Swiss building breeders – Abstract
17:30-17:50 General discussion of session themes

Thursday, 30th May 2024

9:00-9:45 Plenary talk – Terry Townshend, Beijing, China. The Beijing Swift – leading the environmental awakening in China – Abstract

Oral contributions Non-European swifts.
9:45-10:05 Eric G. Horvath – First nest of White-fronted Swift Cypesloides storeri – Abstract
10:05-10:25 Diane Yorgason-Quinn – Vaux’s Happening – 23 Million and Still Counting – Abstract
10:25-10:45 Michael Helm – Major Vaux’s Swift Overwintering Site Discovered in Mexico – Abstract
10:45-11:15 Coffee break
11:15-11:35 Julieta M. Passeggi – Estimation and Description of the Minimum Occurrence Area of the White Collared Swift in Argentina – Abstract
11:35-11:55 Michael Helm – High Tide at San Rafael Vaux’s Swift Roost – Abstract
11:55-12:10 General discussion of session themes

Collection of packed lunches and departure for excursion

Evening: Return from excursion

Friday, 31st May 2024

9:00-9:45 Plenary talk – Nicola Bressi, Trieste, Italy – Urban biodiversity: what are we flying in? – Abstract
Oral contributions: Swift behaviour and biology
9:45-10:05 Rick Wortelboer – When do Swifts Mate? – Abstract
10:05-10:25 Tanya & Edmund Hoare – Swifts – Sleeping on the Wing – Abstract
10:25-11:00 Coffee break
11:00-11:20 Cloe Hadjadji – Metal Trace Element Concentrations in Feathers of Nestling and Adult Alpine Swifts from Switzerland – Abstract
11:20-11:40 Pia Cigler – Avian trypanosomiasis – An emerging disease in the Swiss Alpine swift (Tachymarptis melba) population – Abstract
11:40-12:00 Marcel S. Jacquat – Monitoring of a colony of Common Swifts in the Jura Mountains at 1005m altitude (2005-2023) – Abstract
12:00-12:20 Gert de Jong – Population size and trend of Common swifts in the city of Amsterdam – Abstract
12:20-12:40 Alexandru Stahl – Insectivores and rehabilitation in Romania
13:00-14:15 Buffet lunch at Teatro Miela
14:15-15:00 Plenary talk – Giovanni Boano, Camagnola, Italy. The Pallid Swift in Italy: fifty years long lasting research – Abstract
Oral contributions Swifts in Culture.
15:00-15:20 C Martín Cabello – Birro – tracking down the origins of an ornithonym – Abstract
15:20-15:30 Franco Sacchetti – Trieste, City of Swifts – Abstract
15:30-16:00 Coffee break
Oral contributions Urban conservation.
16:00-16:20 Milo Manica, orale, Thursday 16:00. “Swift Towers as open research lab: the experience of a network of nesting sites in NW Italy” – Abstract
16:20-16:40 Katherine Dubourg – Swift Conservation in Toulon, France – Abstract
16:40-17:00 Leonardo Mao – Moncalieri’s Swifts – Abstract
17:00-17:20 Edward Mayer – Supporting Swifts – What can go wrong? – Abstract
17:20-17:40 General discussion of session themes
17:40-18:00 Discussion of next conference site
19:00-20.00 Concert Choral Group Soul Diesis. The 40 strong choir will sing songs from its repertory, which includes spirituals, gospel and pop music. Their website (in Italian) is

The following posters will be displayed in the café area for the whole conference.
Lorenzo Colombo – Swift and Sparrow Towers in the provinces of Novara and Varese: census and evaluation for Swifts’ conservation – Abstract
Christoph M. Meier – Evaluating the effects of moonlight on the vertical flight profiles of three Western Palaearctic swifts. – Abstract
Fulvio Felici – First evidence on the presence of the Pallid swift (Apus pallidus) in the Marche region (central Italy). – Abstract
Rosalina Montes – Nest-site reuse by the White-collared Swift, Strepto procnezonaris, in south-central Cuba – Abstract
Eugenia Parisi – “Rondoni Campigliesi / Swifts of Campiglia: involving a community in caring for its swifts (Tuscany, Italy)” – Abstract
Angel Velasco – Promoting nesting sites in buildings for Common Swift (Apus apus) in World Heritage cities the case study of Toledo (Spain) – Abstract
Andrea Beseghi – Project “Living Buildings” – 7 years of Citizen Science for the study and protection of colonies of the Common swift (Apus apus) in the city of Parma – Italy – Abstract

20:00 conference dinner

Saturday, 1st June 2024

Post conference excursion, departing 9:00 from near the Teatro Miela

Getting to Trieste

Trieste can be reached by road, rail and air.

The A4 autostrada extends to Trieste, and trains arrive approximately hourly from Venice and cities further afield.

Trieste airport has direct flights to about 16 destinations, including Rome, Frankfurt and London. There is a train station a few minutes walk from the airport building and then it is a 35 minute train trip to Trieste.

Venice Airport is a large international airport, and Trieste can be reached from there after a 20 minute bus ride and a 2 hour train journey.
Other airports often used to get to Trieste are Treviso airport where many low cost carriers fly, and Ljubljana airport in Slovenia

Abstract submission

Abstracts describing the work you wish to present should be 1 page long, and contain the title, names of authors (with name of presenting author underlined), and a description of the work. 

The font should be sans serif (for example Arial) preferably 12 point, but not smaller, with a line spacing of 1.5. Figures may be included. The file format should be pdf, doc or a format which we can convert to pdf. A template is found here.

The submission of abstracts for oral presentations is now closed.  We may accept some post-deadline abstracts for poster presentations.

Conference dinner
We have booked the restaurant Birreria Forst (https://www.forst.it) for the conference dinner. The price will be 35 Euros. If you have registered, you can pay in the same way as for the conference fee, i.e. bank transfer, credit card or Paypal. Please send a separate email if you have special dietary requirements, such as allergies, vegetarian or vegan. The menu will include a starter, first course, second course, side dish, a dessert, choice of drinks (a beer, ¼ liter of wine or soft drink; water).
Deadline for payment: 12th of April, 2024
Accompanying persons.
Accompanying persons may participate at the coffee breaks: please pay at the bar. They may also join us at lunch on Wednesday and Friday, and in the excursions. To do so, please register (registration is free; you do not need to pay the registration fee). 
For the lunches on Wednesday and Friday, please notify us by email that you wish to be there, and specify any dietary needs. You will then pay directly to the restaurant on Wednesday, or to the caterer on Friday (buffet lunch at the Miela theatre.) The prices of the lunch will be approximately 30 Euros on Wednesday, and 13 Euros on Friday.
Deadline for booking lunches, that is, registering and notifying us: 12th of April, 2024.
For the excursions on Thursday and Saturday, you must pay in advance (we need to know numbers to arrange transport), and the payment method and account number are the same as for the registration fee, i.e. bank transfer, credit card or Paypal. The Excursion on Thursday to Isola della Cona costs 34 Euros, and includes transport, a packed lunch and entrance ticket. The excursion on Saturday to Cornino and Fagagna will cost 20 Euros, and covers transport, and entrance ticket where payable. Lunch will be at a nearby restaurant, and you will pay directly to the restaurant.
Deadline for payment: 5th of April, 2024
Lastly, accompanying persons can join in at the conference dinner on Friday evening. This costs 35 Euros, and payment is by the same mode, bank transfer, credit card or Paypal.
Deadline for payment: 12th of April, 2024

Payments: conference registration fee, conference dinner, Saturday excursion and activities of accompanying persons.

The conference fee is 195 Euros for non-students, and 95 Euros for students (who should provide documentary evidence of student status). We prefer payment by bank transfer/wire transfer (as we save on service charges) but you can of course pay by Paypal or credit card if you wish. 
You can pay from your Paypal account or by credit card. If you wish to pay by credit card, you will in any case be directed to the Paypal site, where you can pay by credit card.

The deadline for payment is 5th April 2024. After this date, there is a late fee, and the price will be 250 Euros (125 Euros for students.)

The fee includes access to all sessions, a conference pack, access to the informal welcome on Tuesday evening, lunch on Wednesday and Friday, a packed lunch on Thursday, the excursion on Thursday, and coffee breaks. For all catering, we have requested alternatives which are gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan. The conference language is English and all presentations should be in English, but simultaneous translation into Italian will be provided.

The conference dinner Friday 31st of May is not included. The price is 35 Euros. Please pay this by Friday the 12th of April, 2024, using the same procedure as for paying the conference fee.

Cancellation policy: For cancellation by the 30th of April, 2024, we will reimburse 50% of the fee paid; for cancellation from 30th April to 15th May, 25% will be reimbursed. After that date no refund is possible. In the event of cancellation for very serious reasons (e.g. hospitalisation, etc) please contact the organising committee to see if an exception to the rule can be made.


Wire transfer

Account. Associazione Liberi di Volare ODV

Bank. Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A.

IBAN. IT23 J030 6909 6061 0000 0400 797


Paypal or Credit Card:

Non-student | €195

Name - Surname

Paypal or Credit Card:

Student | €95

Name - Surname

Paypal or Credit Card:

Conference dinner | €35

Name - Surname

Paypal or Credit Card:

Saturday Exursion | €20

Name - Surname

Paypal or Credit Card:

Thursday Exursion | €34

ONLY for
accompanying persons

Name - Surname

Excursion to the Cona Island Regional Nature Reserve

The organizers of the conference propose an immersion in nature at the estuary of the Isonzo River – Isola della Cona. The regional reserve is an ideal habitat for many species of animals and in particular for birds, both sedentary and migratory, which find here the optimal conditions for resting and nesting.

The expert ornithologist Enrico Benussi will guide us to discover the fauna that lives in these very particular environments, between land and water.
In spring, the Reserve offers a natural habitat for migratory birds that move from Africa towards the neighborhoods of Northern Europe.
We will also have the opportunity to observe the Camargue horses that live free in the Reserve and help control the development of the vegetation.

Program in detail (barring unforeseen events): a packed lunch will be available at the end of the morning session. We leave by coach booked by the Association at approximately 12.30 pm, after the closing of the morning session, arriving at approximately 1.30 pm at the Isola della Cona Reserve, where we will have a quick packed lunch and the excursion will begin around 2.00 pm.
At around 5.30 pm we set off again for Trieste, stopping at the Strada Napoleonica, from where we can observe the alpine swifts nesting in the cavities of the rocks that are part of the Trieste coast. There is a beautiful panoramic view of the Gulf of Trieste. The trip is free.
At 6.30 – 7.00 pm we will return to Trieste city.

Alternative excursion.
One of our volunteers, Flavio Strolego (together with colleagues of the Lega Navale, a local yacht club) is offering a boat trip around the Gulf of Trieste, leaving from the port area, and sailing past Miramare Castle. If you are interested in this trip, please contact Flavio directly, kinilabb@gmail.com, at least one week before the conference.

via Diaz, 27 – Trieste | 040 675 43 50 | www.museorevoltella.it

Abstract submission

Abstracts describing the work you wish to present should be 1 page long, and contain the title, names of authors (with name of presenting author underlined), and a description of the work. The font should be sans serif (for example Arial) preferably 12 point, but not smaller, with a line spacing of 1.5. Figures may be included. The file format should be pdf, or a format which we can convert to pdf.

Have Questions? Get In Touch!

I have read the privacy policy (https://triesteswift.it/privacy-policy) and I consent to the storage of my data, in accordance with the European regulation for the protection of personal data n. 679/2016 (GDPR), for information on the 7th International Swift Conference

Registration for the 7th International Swift Conference

Please register here for the 7th International Swift Conference, Trieste, 29th-31st May, 2024. Registration is for one person only. After you have completed the form, you will receive a reference number: please use this and your email address in any correspondence with the organizing committee. We will shortly open the payment webpage. When making a payment please include your email address and reference number. You will receive confirmation of your participation after payment.
Street and house number
Second line of address
Expected cost, 40-50 Euros
We are planning excursions for the afternoon of Thursday 30th May, 2024. We will also offer bird watching excursions after the conference, on Saturday 1st June.
I have read the privacy policy (https://triesteswift.it/privacy-policy) and I consent to the storage of my data, in accordance with the European regulation for the protection of personal data n. 679/2016 (GDPR), for information on the 7th International Swift Conference