From the beautiful South, The House Martin

As the nights begin to draw out, our thoughts turn to warmer weather and foreign travel. At the same time, we can look forward to welcoming visitors from overseas making the reverse trip. House Martins will soon start arriving for the summer and the characteristic mud nests once again become a familiar sight around your property.

If you would like advice on how to provide bird friendly conditions for our feathered friends then contact us on 0800 0283 703.

House martin nest

Now. Try to imagine flapping your arms 4 times in a second. Not easy. Now, think about a House Martin who has a wing beat of 5.3 beats per second and can cover 11 metres in the same time.

So imagine then, the amazing amount of strength and character needed to fly the long and treacherous route from south of the Sahara to the British Isles. And back again. Every summer.

The House Martin, a member of the Swallow family, is a familiar sight and can be recognised by its blue-black body with contrasting bright white underparts and forked tail. It will soon be gracing our shores, March – April onwards, as they complete the first leg of their journey, migrating to places where flying insects are plentiful.

House Martins breed in colonies and each adult pair will have 2 broods a year with 4 – 5 eggs per clutch. You will not see House Martins at your bird tables or feeding from the lawn as they feed on the wing on aerial insects and you will often see these beautiful birds soaring through the sky.

They hardly ever come back to ground and will only touch-down when collecting nesting material or having a drink. House Martins will build closed cup nests from mud pellets mixed with grass and feathers and these are familiar sights under eaves and above doors and windows. And for some people therein lies the problem.

Nests built above doors and windows can result in a heavy build-up of fouling on door steps and window ledges and people will destroy the nests. It is very important to understand that knocking down an active nest or preventing birds gaining access to their eggs or young is illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and can attract high penalties. Deterrents would and should never be put in place to prevent access to an active nest.

At Strathearn Pest Control, we take our responsibilities to wildlife very seriously. We can provide bird friendly solutions which will prevent the fouling problems and at the same time allow the House Martins to nest in other parts of your property. This can all be done before they arrive for the summer. A win-win for everyone.

If you would like to hear more about what we can do call us for free expert advice on 0800 0283 703.