House Martin – Delichon urbica

The House Martin is a small bird from the swallow family. They arrive in the UK during April and return to their original nesting sites. They then stay throughout the summer, leaving again in September–October to migrate south.

Identification

Adult: The House Martin is a compact black and white bird. They have a blue-black crown and back, black wings, a forked, black tail, a prominent white rump and pure white underparts.
Size: 12—13cm.
Bill: Black, short and thin.
Legs: White and short. On close inspection, a covering of white feathers can be seen.
Habitat: Towns, cities, mixed agricultural areas and inland freshwater areas.
Behaviour: Often aerial, takes off/lands on buildings.
Flocking:
Flight: Glides, flitters, dives and swoops.
Voice: Harsh chirrup.

Breeding

Nest: Mud domes underneath eaves of buildings.
Eggs: 4—5. White.
Incubation period: 13—19 days.
Fledgeling: 19—25 days.
Broods: 2—3. May—June.
Food: Insects during flight.
UK breeding pairs: 560,000.

Suggested feed

Countrywide Dried Mealworms, Small Suet Fat Balls.

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