Long before man, house martins used to breed on coastal and inland cliffs and they still do in places like North West Scotland and Malham Cove in North Yorkshire. As its name suggests, the house martin can be spotted nesting in the eaves of houses in our towns and villages. Its intricate mud nests take days to build and are often returned to and used in following years.
Birds start to return south to Southern Spain and Africa in mid to late August and continue into September and october.
Declines in House Martin numbers led to this species being added to the UK Red List in 2020. These declines have been most severe in the south and east of Britain. The reasons underpinning this decline are not well understood, although birds that build nests on PVC as opposed to brick, concrete or wood have much lower breeding success, with nests more likely to collapse on the PVC substrate.