House Martins: Our exotic and mysterious friends

In September when we were all settling back into Pods and restrictions. Our playground was buzzing with little birds zooming around. House martins have been building under the eaves/ facia of our school for the past number of years but there seemed to be even more this time.

We began to photograph and record these wonderful birds.

As we began to observe these little families we started to ask more and more questions like:

Why are they called 'Martins'?

How many chicks do they have?

Where do they go to in Africa?

How do they find their way back to Ireland?

Why do they come the whole way back up when the weather is the same in Cork?





To our surprise there are very few answers available because there is so little information about these little fellas. There's been more research into the bigger swallow but nobody is sure why they come all they way back to the nest they were born when, nobody is sure where in Africa they go although it is thought that they go to the Rainforest and up lands in Eastern Africa.

We observed and recorded at least 2 chicks in each nest although there was evidence of more than one brood.


We're none the wiser as to why they are called Martins and how exactly they navigate although there is evidence that its more than just the wind movements.

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