Tuesday, 8 September 2009

House martins

I already miss the swifts screaming a couple feet above our garden every day as they fly past the nest site next door. They have now left for the return flight for Africa where they will spend the winter.


I have been noticing the odd small group of house martins over the months but they appear much more frequently now.

House Martin

Not as high flying as the swift, house martins resemble swallows without the tail fork. Like swallows they make a mud nest and I think the ones we see locally nest on the farm buildings to the North of us. Swifts, house martins and swallows are quite similar, but as you can see from the drawing below there are distiguishing features.

Picture from a book I have written called Animal Neighbours: Swallows

The house martin and swallow are most alike. The main difference is the swallows forked tail. The swift is quite different with its wide sickle-shaped wings.

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