House Martin (Delichon urbica)
Scientific name: Delichon urbica
Family: swallows, martins, swifts and nightjars
Wingspan: 25 - 29cm (10 - 12")
Diet: Mainly (flying) insects
Habitat: House Martins are widespread and can be seen in the UK between April and September. They traditional enjoy feeding around wetlands, but can be found nesting under the eaves of houses and in and around towns and villages.
Lifespan: 2 Years
House Martin Characteristics
THE HOUSE MARTIN is well known for its glossy blue top and pure white underparts. On close inspection, it's possible to see the house martin's short legs and small feet are covered in white feathers. Being very quick in the air, you'll find the house martin flits quickly around in the air. The house martin's song is a persistent twitter that continues all through the summer months in the UK. During winter, the house martin spends its time in warmer African climates.
HOUSE MARTINS FEED primarily 'on the wing' i.e. while during flight, and the main diet is insects, including flied, beetles and aphids.
House Martin Breeding & Nesting
HOUSE MARTIN NESTS are made primarily of mud. In fact, it's possible to get house martins into the garden by creating a muddy patch from which it can extract mud for building its nest. For the most part, house martin nests can be found under the eaves of buildings and houses.
BREEDING BEGINS slightly later than other birds in April and May, and the incubation period for eggs last between 13 - 19 days. House martin eggs are typically non-glossy, smooth and white. You'll notice both parents contribute towards feeding the young.