Sand Martin Riparia riparia   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Passeriformes Family: Hirundinidae
BTO Codes: SM, SANMA EURING No: 9810
Number in Britain: 100 thousand Nests (Summer)
Conservation Status:
UK: AMBER
European: 3 Concern, most not in Europe; Depleted
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Migrant Breeder, Passage Visitor
Subspecies: riparia recorded in Britain (of 6 subsp. in the world)
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Length: 12 cm Wingspan: 28 cm Weight: M/F: 14 g    
Scientific name from: L.: riparia=of banks (from ripa=a bank)
World Distribution: BREEDS: Eurasia, n Africa, North America, WINTERS: south to s Africa, s Asia, South America
Habitat: Open country, usually near water
Diet: Small airborne invertebrates, feeds in flight
TitBit: Sand Martins nest in holes in sandy banks, which can be up to 1 m long and are excavated at a rate of 8-10 cm a day.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos BTO ID Workshop

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: BirdTrends   
Regional Trends: England   English Regions
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Summer: 100 thousand Nests in 2009
    First Record: Recorded in Anglo-Saxon times
    Latest Survey: Musgrove, A. et al. (2013) British Birds 106:64-100
    Conservation Status: AMBER because Species of European Concern,
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 AMBER     1996-2001 AMBER  
   Races of Concern: riparia AMBER (European Concern)
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    Common in: Pasture Farmland
Relative Frequency in Each Habitat:
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries  and summary map from Time to Fly (in pop-up windows)
Average Day of First Arrival: 25 Mar
European Population Size:
    Summer: 2.4 to 4.5 million pairs
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: Bern(III)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 18 x 13 mm Egg Weight: 1.4 g (of which 5 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 137   (more would be welcome!)
Clutch Size: 4 - 5 eggs 4.42 ± 0.82 (2 - 7) N = 213
Incubation: 14- 15 days 14.39 ± 1.19 (12 - 16.5) N = 213   by the: Male + Female
Fledging: 19 - 21days 19.87 ± 1.68 (16 - 22.5) N = 491 as: Altricial, downy
Source:
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Nest Record Scheme data
First Clutches Laid: Unavailable
Number of Broods: 1-2
See trends in Breeding Productivity
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.300    (M:0.312 ± 0.026; F:0.289 ± 0.026)      
Juvenile Survival: 0.215 (in First-Year)  
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 2 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 7 years 9 months 1 days (set in 1998)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries

Biometrics

Ring Size: A
Wing Length Adult: 106.5 ± 2.8 Range 102 - 111 mm, N =15647
Juvenile: 103.7 ± 3.7 99 - 109 mm, N =2180
Male: 106.6 ± 2.7 102 - 111 mm, N =5607
Female: 106.5 ± 2.9 102 - 111 mm, N =7243
Weight Adult: 13.28 ± 1.57 Range 11.70 - 15.30 g , N =11075
Juvenile: 13.08 ± 1.14 11.20 - 15.00 g , N =1807
Male: 12.90 ± 0.92 11.50 - 14.50 g , N =3723
Female: 13.57 ± 1.20 11.80 - 15.80 g , N =4998
Source:
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Bank Swallow, Collared Sand Martin
Gaelic: Gobhlan-gainmhich Welsh: Gwennol y Glennydd
Danish: Digesvale Dutch: Oeverzwaluw
Finnish: Törmäpääsky French: Hirondelle de rivage
German: Uferschwalbe Hungarian: Parti fecske
Icelandic: Bakkasvala Irish: Gabhlán Gainimh
Italian: Topino Norwegian: Sandsvale
Polish: Brzegówka zwyczajna Portuguese: Andorinha-das-barreiras
Spanish: Avión zapador Swedish: Backsvala
Local Names: Water Swallow

For More Information...

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BirdLife species page
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All About Birds (from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology)