Sunday, 23 August 2009

Common House Martin (Delichon urbicum)

OTHER NAMES: House Martin, Martlet
Latin Etymology: Delichon (anagram of genus Chelidon) urbicum ("urban")
Three adult Common House Martin (subspecies D. u. urbicum) at Geddington, Northants -  September 2012

Local Name (Spain):  Avión común ("Common Martin")
Local Name (Italy):  Balestruccio
Featured Subspecies: Delichon urbicum urbicum
Weight: 18g
Length: 13cm
Wingspan: 26-29cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The second most common of it's family, the House Martin gets its name from the fact it frequently makes its nest under the eaves of houses. While very common in villages, it probably is less so in more built up areas where there are less areas nearby to feed from. It can be differentiated from the Sand Martin by the white patch behind its wings on its back, and the fact it is black rather than dark brown. As with martins, swifts and swallows, seeing them shouldn't really be too much of an issue, but unless perched it'll require a bit of skill with focusing.

Related Species: 
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Hirundinidae
Genus: Delichon
Subspecies: D. u. urbicum, D. u. meridionale, D. u. lagopodum  

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Common Summer migrant (510,000 pairs)
 - Seen at sites including Rutland WaterTrevose HeadRainham Marshes and Geddington.
ITALY - A common Summer migrant.
 - SICILY 2018 TRIP -  Common throughout.
SPAIN - Scarce and Local Resident
 - MADRID 2015 TRIP: Fairly common in Central Madrid.

Further Notes: ArkiveBirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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