Conservation status: Amber
Sand martins are the smallest European hirundines (martins and swallows), with dark brown upper parts and dark under wings contrasting with otherwise pale under parts divided by a distinctive dark chest bar. Agile fliers, feeding mainly over water, they will perch on overhead wires or branches. They are gregarious in the breeding season and winter. Over the past 50 years the European population has crashed on two occasions as a result of drought in the birds' African wintering grounds.
Swallows and martins (Hirundinidae)
Where to see them
Found along rivers and other water bodies throughout the UK. Also found around man-made gravel pits where artificial nesting banks are sometimes provided.
When to see them
March to October
What they eat
Invertebrates, taken on the wing.
|Europe||UK breeding*||UK wintering*||UK passage*|