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Andorinha dos beirais. House martin.Delichon urbicum.


COMMON HOUSE MARTIN
Delichon urbicum

Description

Bird with white underparts and moderately forked black tail, not showing elongated retrices like the Barn Swallow. The predominantly black upperparts, with bluish highlights on the crown, mantle and scapulars, contrasts with the pure white rump. Juveniles have brownish upperparts and washed grey-brown underparts. This species has no sexual dimorphism.

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Subspecies

There are two subspecies of Common House Martin, with the nominal subspecies Delichon urbicum urbicum occurring in Portugal.

Scientific Name Transcription

'Delichon' is an anagram of chelidon and means 'swallow' in Greek, while 'urbicum' originates from the Latin term urbis which refers to 'city'.

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26 to 29 cm

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15 to 23 g

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15 YEARS

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FEB | OCT

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2 to 3 CLUTCHES

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4 to 5 EGGS

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Distribution and Ecology

Summer species in Europe, North Africa and temperate regions of Asia; and wintering species in sub-Saharan Africa, Arabian Peninsula and southern India. Present in mainland Portugal from March to October, with some discontinuities in densely forested areas. Some individuals winter in Portugal, especially in the southern half, near coastal wetlands, but some records also exist in some cities in the Portuguese countryside (e.g. Castelo Branco). This species feeds on insects in open and semi-open habitats near wetlands and field crops.

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Conservation

The Common House Martin is a species that has specialised in building its nests in our homes and is therefore extremely vulnerable to the way we build and manage buildings. The decline in numbers has led to it being granted Near Threatened (NT) status in the UK, but here it remains Low Concern (LC).

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