July 24th- swifts and house martins

Jonathan Pomroy

We are fortunate to have a pair of house martins nesting on the back of our house. They are in an artificial nest only a few feet from our pair of swifts. The two species seem to co exist extremely well. I have lived with both species before and observed that they actually benefit from being together. Away from the nest they have a lot in common, both prefering to feed high on aerial insects when the weather allows. In colder or wet weather the two often feed low over water.

There is another benefit that I have noticed on many occasions. When house martins confidently swoop down to the eaves non breeding swifts often follow. This can really encourage a swift prospecting session. Though it can then lead to occasional mild conflict when a non breeding swift lands on the house martin’s nest. I saw this today. We had…

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