The House Martin spends much of its time on the wing collecting insect prey. Its diet is flying insects, especially flies and aphids in summer.
They tend to feed higher than Swallows, often in groups with Swifts, unlike the solitory Swallow.
The bird's mud nest is usually sited below the eaves of buildings, and are summer migrants and spend their winters in Africa. See our House Martin nest box.
Although still numerous and widespread, recent moderate declines earn them a place on the Amber List. They return to the UK in April, often feeding over wetlands for a while before returning to their traditional nest sites, remaining here until September and October before migrating south.
Originally, nesting on cliffs they soon took to nesting on buildings, attaching their mud nest cup under eaves, each nest takes up to 10 days to build, and over 1000 beak sized pellets of mud
Number in Britain
Conservation Status UK
Status in UK
Migrant Breeder/passage visitor
Open country and towns
Number of broods
2 or 3
Age at First Breeding
Maximum Recorded Age
7 years, 1 month