Interesting facts about the common house martha

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This small bird often lives in nests on the facades of human buildings. Although she is cautious around people, she is not shy and accepts their presence.

It leads a typical aerial lifestyle, almost never landing on the ground. The exception is during nest building, when he must collect dirt from the ground to serve as building material. Outside the nesting period, it spends the night in trees next to other representatives of its species. As befits swallows, swallows fly very deftly, they spend several hours a day in flight and obtain food only during the flight. They are valued by people for their effectiveness in catching insects.

1

The common swallow is a bird from the swallow-tailed family.

This family includes about 90 species of birds from 19 genera. There are three subspecies of swallow, although there is currently some debate as to whether one should be considered a separate species.

2

It is found in Eurasia and North Africa, but its range is divided between three subspecies of this bird.

The Eurasian subspecies (D. u. urbicum) is found throughout Europe, including Scandinavia, and in Central Asia to Western Siberia. Winters in sub-Saharan Africa. The Mediterranean subspecies (Du meridionale) inhabits the coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, as well as southern Europe and west-central Asia. Winters in Africa and South-West Asia. The Asian subspecies (D. u. lagopodum) inhabits Central Asia (Mongolia and China), winters in Southern China and Southeast Asia.

3

The best environment for house swallows is open areas covered with low vegetation. Prefers places with access to water.

However, this does not mean that it cannot be found in mountainous or urban areas.

The house swallow is found in the mountains up to an altitude of 2200 m. It is not as shy as the barn swallow and even inhabits densely built-up urban areas, but with low levels of air pollution. It overwinters in places resembling its breeding grounds.

4

They are excellent fliers, just like other swallows.

They can spend several hours a day in the air. They are known for their ability to maneuver in the air, which often saves their lives from the threat of birds of prey. Unlike swallows, their flight is more active than gliding, and their ceiling is higher.

5

This is a migratory bird, after the end of the breeding season it goes to its wintering grounds.

During migration, house swallows usually travel in groups.

6

This is an insectivorous species that catches prey in flight.

The average altitude at which they hunt is 21 meters (in the nesting area) and 50 m (in the wintering area), and the hunting area is usually within a radius of 450 m from the nest. The most common victims of swallows are flies and aphids, and in wintering areas - flying ants.

7

The Asian subspecies (Du lagopodum) is increasingly considered a separate species of swallow.

However, at the moment it is officially considered a subspecies of swallow.

8

These are small birds, the length of adults is 13 cm.

The swallow's wingspan ranges from 26 to 29 cm, and its average weight is 18.3 g.

9

The top of the head and body are steel blue, the throat and underparts are white.

The eyes of these swallows are brown, the beak is pointed and small, black, and the legs are pink.

10

These swallows do not have sexual dimorphism.

Both the color and weight of both sexes are identical.

11

Depending on latitude, the breeding season may begin in late March (Africa) or mid-June (northern Scandinavia).

In Poland, usually in April - May, when nest construction begins. They are mounted on the wall under a protruding shelf. Previously, swallows built nests in caves and on rocks, but with the advent of buildings they adapted to nest on their walls.

12

The female lays an average of 4-5 eggs in a clutch, and a pair of house swallows can produce two or even three clutches per year.

They are white and measure 19 x 13,5 mm. After 14–16 days, the chicks hatch and remain under the care of their parents for 3 to 5 weeks. Their growth rate is determined by weather conditions.

13

It happens that swallows interbreed with swallows.

Among all passerines, this is one of the most common interspecific crosses.

14

Both partners build the nest.

It consists of mud that is applied in layers. and is lined with soft materials such as hair, grass and wool. The entrance is located just below the horizontal surface, at the top of the nest, and its dimensions are very small.

15

These birds often build nests in colonies.

Usually there are less than 10 of them, but there are known cases of the formation of colonies of these swallows, where the number of nests is in the thousands.

16

The average lifespan of common house swallows in the wild is 4 to 5 years.

However, they can live much longer, in favorable conditions - up to 14 years.

17

The European population of these birds is estimated at 20 to 48 million individuals.

According to studies from 2013-2018, the population of Poland is estimated at 834 1,19 people. up to XNUMX million individuals. The greatest threats to the species are competition with common sparrows, environmental pollution and a lack of dirt, which is a building material for their nests, caused by drought.

18

It is not an endangered species, but it is strictly protected in Poland.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the swallow as a species of Least Concern.

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