House Martin

House Martin

Scientific name: Delichon urbicum

Did you know: The House Martin is a marvellous little aviator, migrating impressive distances from Africa to the UK each year, only to return to the very same nesting sites!

What Do House Martins Look Like? (how to identify them)

House Martins are small, striking birds with glossy blue-black upper parts and stark white under parts. 

These birds are known for their distinctive white rumps, forked tails, and the unique white feathers covering their legs and toes. When you spot one, you’ll often find it soaring in the sky, on the lookout for insects.

Differences Between Male And Female House Martins

Both male and female House Martins share a similar plumage, making it a bit of a challenge to tell them apart. The key is in the details: the males and females are almost identical in their glossy black and white attire.

What Do House Martins Eat?

In their constant aerial acrobatics, House Martins skillfully catch flying insects. Their diet primarily consists of flies, aphids, and beetles, which they capture mid-flight with remarkable precision.

Where Do House Martins Live? (inc. migration info)

House Martins are summer visitors in the UK, favouring urban and suburban areas, farmlands, and wetlands. They migrate to Africa for winter, but not before leaving their mark in the UK with their distinctive mud nests, often spotted under the eaves of buildings.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of House Martins)

The voice of a House Martin is as lively as its flight. These birds communicate through a variety of chirps and twittering sounds, creating a symphony that’s particularly vibrant during the breeding season.

Fun House Martin Facts (kid friendly)

  • House Martins can fly up to 11 metres per second!
  • They build their nests from tiny mud pellets, a task that takes about 10 days.
  • Amazingly, they return to the same nests each year after travelling thousands of miles.
  • These birds are incredible architects, creating nests that can be used for several years.
  • They can live up to 14 years, which is quite long for such small birds.
  • These birds are part of the Swallow family.
  • They lay 4-5 eggs per clutch, with the eggs being about the size of a small chocolate egg.

Facts About The House Martin

Diet: Insects.
Bird Family: Swallows and martins
Length: 12cm
Wingspan: 26-29cm
Weight: 15-23g
Scientific Name: Delichon urbicum

The House Martin Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October