Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)

OTHER NAMES: European Sand Martin, Collared Sand Martin, Bank Swallow,
Latin Etymology: Riparia ("bank nesting") riparia ("bank nesting")

Four adult Sand Martin (subspecies R. r. riparia) in Keswick, Cumbria - April 2011

Featured Subspecies:
Riparia riparia riparia
Weight: 13-14g  /  Length: 12cm  /  Wingspan: 26-29cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Sand Martin is the least numerous of the UK's three members of it's family - this is probably in part in that it has the most complex habitat requirements, unlike swallows and house martins it requires requires banks and cliffs to dig its nest tunnels into. It however can be seen at decent sized bodies of water quite easily, and as far as this project is concerned, the hardest thing about them was to photograph - as with both swallow and house martin the fact that they are small and high speed fliers means that using the auto-focus on my camera isn't an option, therefore, a fixed focus length and just taking photographs til on is a bit legible proved the only option - unless of course you were to get to a place where you could easily view their nests.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Hirunididae
Genus: Riparia
Subspecies: R. r. riparia, R. r. ijimae, R. r. shelleyi, R. r. eilata, R. r. innominata

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A common but local breeding migrant (54,000-174,000 nests)
 - A breeding colony Keswick and seen at various other sites like Rutland and Summerleys 

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

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