The house martin is a bird from the swallow family and is found mostly in Europe, Africa and in Asian countries. Usually found in open fields and near human habitation, this bird has a unique way of building its home. Unlike other birds, its nest is not made from leaves, twigs or cotton balls. The common house martin uses mud and its own saliva to build a strong nest!
These types of nests can be found in open farmlands or places with relatively low vegetation. It can also be found in cities where the air is clean. But, as it needs mud, it chooses a location close to puddles or ponds.
This smart bird collects mud pellets and starts using it for the outer layers. A cup-shaped nest is constructed on a ledge or at corners of roofs with layers of mud and other soft and insulating materials for the inside. As time passes by, the mud hardens and is ready to house two martins along with their offspring in them. With a small hole at the top for entrance and exit, this nest is constructed by both the Mr and Mrs house martin and is completed within one or two weeks!
These are colonial birds, so you may find three or more nests under the same roof or sheds. Whirling in the sky continuously, they search for food. With insects as their primary intake, these birdies relish mosquitoes!
Unfortunately, we humans have become a threat to these smart constructive birds. Some of us knock it off seeing the droppings below, some remove it unknowingly, assuming that it is some dirt on the wall. Even though this is illegal, there are records where many nests have been damaged while the birds and offspring are still inside. The next time you see one, observe these constructive minds at work!
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Image inputs from Wikipedia.