Stunning display of House Martin’s flight from our bedroom window here at Sheepskin Towers this morning…
August is the House Martin’s last chance to mate, most will only mate once in their whole life. Both males and females feed the young, even young from a previous clutch of eggs will help feed the newly hatched. Once they have flown the nest they will return daily to roost, whilst pre-migration flocks develop during the day, eventually the birds will leave. The males will tend to return to the same colony, even if they do take up a different nest site than last year, but the females will tend to join a different colony several kilometres from where she hatched.
They fly so close to the window because long ago the nest would have been built on a cliff edge
House martins traditionally built their mud nests on cliff faces. By the 19th century they started making use of buildings, allowing them to expand their range. The traditional nest sites had been all but abandoned by early 1900s in favour of close association with people, which allowed the birds to exploit even urban areas – RSPB
Spot the line of weighted strings we are using to stop house sparrows stealing the nest, find out more about it here. Also, please forgive the messy glass – it’s illegal to disturb house martins, which are a protected species, so window cleaning will have to wait!