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« Back Birds (UK)

Sand martin (Riparia riparia)
Photo by Impy,UK

Sand martin (Riparia riparia)

This Picture Has been Viewed 1557 times since 18 September 2004

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The photo above shows juvenile Sandmartins getting ready to fledge.

The Sand martin is the smallest of the European martins and swallows. They are a summer visitor only, migrating back to Africa in the autumn and arriving back again in the spring. They breed in sandy river banks, earth banks and quarries, digging a tunnel that slopes slightly upwards to prevent rain water flooding in.
Eggs: 4-5
Incubation: 14-15 days
Fledging: 22 days
It feeds upon invertebrates whilst on the wing.
Over the past 50 years the European population has crashed on two occasions as a result of drought in the birds' African wintering grounds. They have a maximum lifespan of 9 years.

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