SAND MARTIN

The bird has a brown back and lateral stripe at its crop and chest. The tail is short. The sand martin likes to fly low above the water and spend time at river shores.

It feeds exclusively on flying insects. The sand martin drinks water like a swallow – it flies above the water and scoops it with its mandible.

The bird is very common in Europe. It can be seen at any sandy coastal cliffs. As for the Yenisei, the bird nests where it finds suitable coast forming massive colonies (100-500 couples).

The sand martins dig burrows with their claws. The burrows are usually 50 cm in length but sometimes they can be 1.5 meter long. There is a nest made out of dried grass and feathers in the broadened end of the burrow. There are 4-5 eggs in a set.

HOUSE MARTIN

The bird has white bottom, black back and head and a tail with a small cut-out. The house martins usually fly in flocks. The bird’s diet is mostly flying insects.

It is a very common bird. In the Krasnoyarsk Territory it can be encountered from its southern border to the 70 degrees of northern latitude. In the south of the region the bird nests under the buildings roofs and in the coastal cliffs. The colonies consist of 300-400 couples.

Such colonies were observed in Usinsk kettle hole near Krasnoyarsk. There are no house martin’s nests outside human settlements to the north of Angara. The bird nests sporadically in Sayan Maountains. It is rarely met in central and northern Yenisei taiga but it’s quite common and numerous in southern taiga, sub-boreal forests, forest-steppe, steppe and foothills.

The nest is attached to the outer building walls, mostly the stone or brick walls but sometimes wooden ones. Usually the birds settle in their last-year’s nest which, if needed, they repair. Sometimes house martins live on clay cliffs using sand martins’ burrows.

They settle down in colonies (up to several dozens of couples). The nests are often made very close to each other so there can be several nests over one window. The nest is affixed to walls or ceilings and looks like a part of a sphere. There are 4-6 white eggs in a set.