House Martin by Josh Jaggard 1/2
House Martins by Elizabeth Dack 2/2

House martin Delichori urbica

The house martin is a bird very much associated with village life, living close to humans making use of the eaves of houses and barns to build their characteristic nests of mud. Soaring through the skies with swifts and swallows as they feed on insects, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between the species.



Conservation status

According to the British Trust of Ornithology the house martin is in rapid decline and has now been put on the Amber List. The reason for this decline is unclear.
House martins are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countyside Act of 1981. It is an offence to kill, injure or take an adult bird, it is also illegal to damage or destroy the eggs, young or nest whilst it is being built or in use.

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Did you know?
  • Early in the breeding season, in wet and cold weather, up to 14 house martins have been recorded sheltering in a single old nest.
  • House martins may still have young until the end of October.
  • House martins have been recorded nesting on ferries, under motorway bridges and even under street lamps.
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