Sand martin

The sand martin (Riparia riparia) or European sand martin, bank swallow in the Americas, and collared sand martin in the Indian Subcontinent, is a migratory passerine bird in the swallow family. It has a wide range in summer, embracing practically the whole of Europe and the Mediterranean countries, part of northern Asia and also North America. It winters in eastern and southern Africa, South America and the Indian Subcontinent.

Sand martin
Riparia riparia -Markinch, Fife, Scotland -flying-8-4c
Flying in Scotland
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Hirundinidae
Genus: Riparia
Species:
R. riparia
Binomial name
Riparia riparia
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Subspecies
  • R. r. dolgushini
  • R. r. eilata
  • R. r. ijimae
  • R. r. innominata
  • R. r. kolymensis
  • R. r. riparia
  • R. r. shelleyi
  • R. r. taczanowskii
Riparia riparia map
Synonyms

Hirundo riparia Linnaeus, 1758
Riparia diluta (but see text)

Taxonomy

This species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758, and originally named Hirundo riparia; the description consisted of the simple H[irundo] cinerea, gula abdomineque albis—"an ash-grey swallow, with white throat and belly"—and the type locality was simply given as "Europa".[2] The specific name means "of the riverbank"; it is derived from the Latin ripa "riverbank".[3]

The pale martin of northern India and southeastern China is now usually split as a separate species Riparia diluta. It has paler grey-brown upperparts and a less distinct breast band. It winters in Pakistan and southern India.[4]

Description

Digesvale
Showing dark breast band
Riparia Riparia-2006-Ejdzej-1
Adult at nest site, Dziwnówek, Poland

The 12 cm (4.7 in) long sand martin is brown above, white below with a narrow brown band on the breast; the bill is black, the legs brown. The young have rufous tips to the coverts and margins to the secondaries.

Its brown back, white throat, small size and quick jerky flight separate it at once from similar swallows, such as the common house martin (Delichon urbicum), the American cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) or other species of Riparia. Only the banded martin (R. cincta) of sub-Saharan Africa is similar, but the sand martin only occurs there in (the northern) winter.

The sand martin's twittering song is continuous when the birds are on the wing and becomes a conversational undertone after they have settled in the roost. The harsh alarm is heard when a passing falcon, crow or other suspected predator requires combined action to drive it away.

Ecology

Sand-Martin
Active breeding colony

Linnaeus already remarked on this species' breeding habits: Habitat in Europae collibus arenosis abruptis, foramine serpentino—"it lives in Europe, in winding holes in sheer sandy hills". It has been observed that sand martins favour loess as a particular type of ground to nest in.[5] Sand martins are generally found near larger bodies of water, such as rivers, lakes or even the ocean, throughout the year.[2][6]

The sand martin appears on its breeding grounds as the first of its family, starting towards the end of March, just in advance of the barn swallow. In northern Ohio, they arrive in numbers by mid-April, about 10 days earlier than they did 100 years ago.[7][8] At first, they flit over the larger bodies of water alone, in search of early flies. Later parties accompany other swallow species, but for a time, varying according to weather, the birds remain at these large waters and do not visit their nesting haunts. The sand martin departs early, at any rate from its more northerly haunts. In August, the gatherings at the nightly roost increase enormously, though the advent and departure of passage birds causes great irregularity in numbers. They are essentially gone from their breeding range by the end of September.

Riparia riparia-nest
Nest with egg
Riparia riparia MWNH 2218
Eggs, Collection Museum Wiesbaden, Germany

The food consists of small insects, mostly gnats and other flies whose early stages are aquatic.

The sand martin is sociable in its nesting habits; from a dozen to many hundred pairs will nest close together, according to available space. The nests are at the end of tunnels of from a few inches to three or four feet in length, bored in sand or gravel. The actual nest is a litter of straw and feathers in a chamber at the end of the burrow; it soon becomes a hotbed of parasites. Four or five white eggs are laid about mid-late May, and a second brood is usual in all but the most northernly breeding sites.

This is not a rare bird, and it is classified as a species of Least Concern by the IUCN.[1] It does have some local protections, as certain populations have declined or face threats from habitat loss and fragmentation. They are considered threatened in California, where populations exist in the Sacramento Valley[9] and at two coastal sites, Ano Nuevo and Fort Funston.[10]

References

  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Riparia riparia". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b Linnaeus, Carl (1758). Laurentius Salvius (ed.). 101.4. Hirundo riparia. Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. vol. 1 (10th ed.). Holmius [Stockholm]. p. 192.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 336. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ Turner, Angela; Rose, Chris (1989). Swallows and martins: an identification guide and handbook. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 978-0-395-51174-9.
  5. ^ Smalley, I.J., Smalley, G.J., O'Hara-Dhand, K., Jary, Z. 2013. Sand martins favour loess: how the properties of loess ground facilitate the nesting of Sand Martins/Bank Swallows/Uferschwalben (Riparia riparia L1758) Quaternary International 296, 216-219. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint2012.03.059
  6. ^ Accordi & Barcellos (2006)
  7. ^ Henninger, W.F. (1906). "A Preliminary List of the Birds of Seneca County, Ohio". The Wilson Bulletin. 18.
  8. ^ OOS (2004)
  9. ^ Garrison, B.A. (1998). "Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia)". The Riparian Bird Conservation Plan: A Strategy for Reversing the Decline of Riparian-associated Birds in California.
  10. ^ Fish, Allen (April 2012). "Bank Swallows of Fort Funston". Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Retrieved 26 October 2014.

Further reading

External links

Atticora

Atticora is a genus of bird in the swallow family Hirundinidae. These species are found in South America.

It contains the following two species:

White-banded swallow (Atticora fasciata)

Black-collared swallow (Atticora melanoleuca)

Banded martin

The banded martin or banded sand martin (Riparia cincta) is a small passerine bird in the swallow family. It is an inhabitant of the African continent.

Brown-throated martin

The brown-throated martin or brown-throated sand martin (Riparia paludicola) is a small passerine bird in the swallow family. It was first formally described as Hirundo paludicola by French ornithologist Louis Vieillot in 1817 in his Nouveau Dictionnaire d'Histoire Naturelle. It was formerly regarded as conspecific with the grey-throated martin (R. chinensis) under the name "plain martin".

It has a wide range in Africa. It is a partially migratory species, with some populations making seasonal movements. It is usually associated closely with water as its specific epithet paludicola suggest.

The brown-throated martin is colonial in its nesting habits, with many pairs breeding close together, according to available space. The nests are at the end of tunnels of 30 to 60 cm in length, bored in sandbanks. The actual nest is a litter of straw and feathers in a chamber at the end of the burrow. Two to four white eggs are the normal clutch, and are incubated by both parents.

Its brown back, small size and quicker, jerkier flight separate brown-throated martin at once from most other members of the swallow family. It is most similar to the sand martin, Riparia riparia , which is its northern counterpart.

The 12 cm long brown-throated martin is brown above and white or pale brown below. It lacks the narrow brown band on the breast shown by the sand martin; the bill is black and the legs are brown. Sexes are similar, but the young have pale tips to the feathers on the rump and wings.

The races differ in size and plumage tones of the upperparts or underparts.

R. p. paludicola, southern Africa. White underparts.

R. p. paludibula, western Africa. Smaller and darker above than the nominate form.

R. p. ducis, eastern Africa. Smaller and darker above and below than the nominate subspecies.

R. p. mauretanica, Morocco. Small and pale.

R. p. newtoni, mountains of Cameroon only. Darker above than the nominate form, brownish underparts.

R. p. cowani, Madagascar. Small, greyish underparts.The food of this species consists of small insects, mostly gnats and other flies whose early stages are aquatic.

The twittering song of brown-throated martin is continuous when the birds are on the wing, and becomes a conversational undertone after they have settled in the roost. There is also a harsh alarm call.

Cecropis

Cecropis is a genus of large swallows found in Africa and tropical Asia. The red-rumped swallow's range also extends into southern Europe, and (in small numbers) into Australia. This genus is frequently subsumed into the larger genus Hirundo.The swallow family consists of 74 bird species which typically hunt insects in flight. The two river martins have long been recognised as very distinctive, and are placed in a separate subfamily, Pseudochelidoninae, leaving all other swallows and martins in the Hirundininae. DNA studies suggest that there are three major groupings within the Hirundininae subfamily, broadly correlating with the type of nest built. The groups are the "core martins" including burrowing species like the sand martin, the "nest-adopters", with birds like the tree swallow which use natural cavities, and the "mud nest builders". The Cecropsis species construct a closed mud nest and therefore belong to the latter group. It is believed that the evolutionary sequence is from species that make open cup nests (Hirundo and Ptyonoprogne), through Delichon house martins with closed nests, to Cecropis and Petrochelidon, which have retort-like closed nests with an entrance tunnel.The genus Cecropis was introduced by the German zoologist Friedrich Boie in 1826. The type species was subsequently designated as the greater striped swallow. The name of the genus is from the Ancient Greek Kekropis "Athenian woman".

Congo martin

The Congo martin or Congo sand martin (Riparia congica) is a small passerine bird in the swallow family.

It occurs only along the Congo River and its tributary, the Ubangi. It is fairly abundant within its restricted range.

The habitat requirement of this non-migratory species is forested rivers with sandbanks for breeding.

The Congo martin nests in colonies in February and March, with each pair excavating a tunnel in a sandbank about 1 m above the river. The nest itself is at the end of the tunnel. Little is known of the breeding biology, although it is probably similar to that of the sand martin.

Forest swallow

The forest swallow (Petrochelidon fuliginosa) is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae.

It is found in Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Nigeria.

Galápagos martin

The Galápagos martin (Progne modesta) is a species of bird in the Hirundinidae family, endemic to the Galápagos Islands.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland, pastureland, and heavily degraded former forest.

Grey-throated martin

The grey-throated martin or Asian plain martin (Riparia chinensis) is a small passerine bird in the swallow family.

The grey-throated martin is found in open habitats such as farmland, grassland and savannah, usually near water. It is found from Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Indian subcontinent to southern China, Taiwan, and the northern Philippines. It was formerly considered a subspecies of the "plain martin", since renamed the brown-throated martin.

List of birds of Islamabad

This is a list of birds found in Islamabad, Pakistan. Seventy-two species of birds have been found in this area. The best places to watch are Margalla Hills and Rawal Lake.

Little grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger

Great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo

Black-crowned night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax

Indian pond heron (Paddybird), Ardeola grayii

Cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis

Little egret, Egretta garzetta

Intermediate egret, Egretta intermedia

Grey heron, Ardea cinerea

Purple heron, Ardea purpurea

Common teal, Anas crecca

Black kite, Milvus migrans

Shikra, Accipiter badius

Long-legged buzzard, Buteo rufinus

Eurasian kestrel, Falco tinnunculus

Grey francolin, Francolinus pondicerianus

Common quail, Coturnix coturnix

Brown waterhen, Amaurornis akool

White-breasted waterhen, Amaurornis phoenicurus

Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus

Eurasian coot, Fulica atra

Red-wattled lapwing, Hoplopterus indicus

Common sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos

Black-headed gull, Larus ridibundus

Feral pigeon, Columba livia

Wood pigeon, Columba palumbus

Collared dove, Streptopelia decaocto

Palm dove, Spilopelia senegalensis

Spotted dove, Spilopelia chinensis

Rose-ringed parakeet, Psittacula krameri

Common koel, Eudynamys scolopacea

Greater coucal, Centropus sinensis

House swift, Apus affinis

White-throated kingfisher, Halcyon smyrnensis

Pied kingfisher, Ceryle rudis

Hoopoe, Upupa epops

Lesser golden-backed woodpecker, Dinopium benghalense

Brown-fronted woodpecker, Dendrocopos auriceps

Crested lark, Galerida cristata

Small skylark, Alauda gulgula

Brown-throated sand martin, Riparia paludicola

Pale sand martin, Riparia diluta

Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica

Red-rumped swallow, Hirundo daurica

Paddyfield pipit, Anthus rufulus

Grey wagtail, Motacilla cinerea

White wagtail, Motacilla alba

Large pied wagtail, Motacilla maderaspatensis

Himalayan bulbul, Pycnonotus leucogenys

Red-vented bulbul, Pycnonotus cafer

Dark-grey bushchat, Saxicola ferrea

Blue rock thrush, Monticola solitarius

Blue whistling thrush, Myophonus caeruleus

Fan-tailed warbler, Cisticola juncidis

Tawny prinia, Prinia inornata

Yellow-bellied prinia, Prinia flaviventris

Hume's leaf warbler, Phylloscopus humei

White-throated fantail, Rhipidura albicollis

Black-chinned babbler, Stachyris pyrrhops

Common babbler, Turdoides caudatus

Jungle babbler, Turdoides striatus

Great tit, Parus major

Bar-tailed treecreeper, Certhia himalayana

Oriental white-eye, Zosterops palpebrosus

Rufous-backed shrike, Lanius schach

Black drongo, Dicrurus macrocercus

House crow, Corvus splendens

Brahminy starling, Sturnus pagodarum

Common myna, Acridotheres tristis

Bank myna, Acridotheres ginginianus

House sparrow, Passer domesticus

Alexandrine parakeet, Psittacula eupatria

Green bee-eater, Merops orientalis

Rufous treepie, Dendrocitta vagabunda

Indian robin, Saxicoloides fulicatus

Pale martin

The pale martin or pale sand martin (Riparia diluta) is a small passerine bird in the swallow family.

It is found in open habitats such as farmland, grassland and savannah, usually near water. It is found from central Asia to southeastern China. The species was formerly considered a subspecies of the sand martin.

Peruvian martin

The Peruvian martin (Progne murphyi) is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae. It is found in Peru and far norther Chile.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, subtropical or tropical moist montane forest, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland, pastureland, and urban areas. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Preuss's cliff swallow

Preuss's cliff swallow (Petrochelidon preussi), also known as Preuss's swallow, is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae.

Riparia

Riparia is a small genus of passerine birds in the swallow family. The genus means "of the riverbank"; it is derived from the Latin ripa "riverbank".

These are small or medium-sized swallows, ranging from 11–17 cm in length. They are brown above and mainly white below, and all have a dark breast band.

These species are closely associated with water. They nest in tunnels usually excavated by the birds themselves in a natural sand bank or earth mound. They lay white eggs, which are incubated by both parents, in a nest of straw, grass, and feathers in a chamber at the end of the burrow. Some species breed colonially.

The cosmopolitan sand martin is almost completely migratory, breeding across temperate Eurasia and North America and wintering in the tropics. The other species are partial migrants or resident.

Riparia martins, like other swallows, take insects in flight over water, grassland, or other open country.

River Inny, Cornwall

The River Inny (Cornish: Dowr Enni) is a small river in east Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is a tributary of the River Tamar and is about twenty miles (32 km) long from its source near Davidstow on the eastern flank of Bodmin Moor to its confluence with the Tamar at Inny Foot near Dunterton.The River Inny's catchment is 108 square kilometres. Penpont Water is the main tributary and joins the Inny at Two Bridges.The course of the River Inny is initially east-southeast. From Two Bridges it runs southeast before running due east for the last few miles to its confluence with the Tamar.

The River Inny supports trout, sea trout and salmon populations. Other wildlife species include the otter, kingfisher, sand martin, dipper, curlew and snipe.

Saw-wing

The saw-wings, Psalidoprocne, is a small genus of passerine birds in the swallow family. The common name of this group is derived from the rough outer edge of the outer primary feather on the wing, which is rough due to recurved barbs. The function of this is unknown. The birds are 11–17 cm long and black or black-and-white in colour. The genus has an African distribution and all species can be found foraging over forest and woodland.

Sinaloa martin

The Sinaloa martin (Progne sinaloae) is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae.

It breeds semicolonially in sheer cliff faces within pine-oak forests of the Sierra Madre Occidental of western Mexico. Presumed migrant records also come from Belize and Guatemala. It is assumed to winter in South America.

Southern martin

The southern martin (Progne elegans) is a species of bird in the family Hirundinidae.

It is found in Argentina and southern Bolivia ; in winter it migrates to the western Amazon Basin.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, subtropical or tropical moist montane forest, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland, and urban areas.

Swallow

The swallows, martins and saw-wings, or Hirundinidae, are a family of passerine birds found around the world on all continents, including occasionally in Antarctica. Highly adapted to aerial feeding, they have a distinctive appearance. The term Swallow is used colloquially in Europe as a synonym for the barn swallow. There are around 90 species of Hirundinidae, divided into 19 genera, with the greatest diversity found in Africa, which is also thought to be where they evolved as hole-nesters. They also occur on a number of oceanic islands. A number of European and North American species are long-distance migrants; by contrast, the West and South African swallows are non-migratory.

This family comprises two subfamilies: Pseudochelidoninae (the river martins of the genus Pseudochelidon) and Hirundininae (all other swallows, martins and saw-wings). Within the Old World, the name martin tends to be used for the squarer-tailed species, and the name swallow for the more fork-tailed species; however, there is no scientific distinction between these two groups. Within the New World, "martin" is reserved for members of the genus Progne. (These two systems are responsible for the sand martin being called "bank swallow" in the New World.)

Swallows (family: Hirundinidae)

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