House Martin
Delichon urbicum

RSPB Conservation Status – Red

Last seen – 1-9-22

The House martin is a small migratory bird species that can be found in the UK during the summer months.

It has a blue-black back, white underparts, and a distinctive forked tail.

Both male and female birds are similar in appearance.


Population – 500,000 pairs

Length – 12 cm

Wingspan – 26 – 29 cm

Weight – 15 – 23 g


House martins breed between April and September, with females laying between 2-5 eggs.

Both parents incubate the eggs for around 14 days, and the chicks fledge after around 28 days.

The young birds will often return to the nest to roost with their parents during the first winter.


House martins prefer open habitats with plenty of flying insects, such as farmland, wetlands, and urban areas.

They nest in colonies, building their distinctive mud nests on the sides of buildings and under eaves and bridges.


House martins feed on flying insects, such as flies, mosquitoes, and aphids.

They catch these insects in the air using their agile flight skills, which include acrobatic twists and turns.

If you have seen a House Martin, please let us know via our survey page.