Eurasian crag martin

Eurasian crag martin
Ptyonoprogne rupestris
Photo by Ahmet Karatash (Trek Nature)

Common name:

Order Passeriformes
Family Hirundinidae

This species is found from the Iberian Peninsula and Morocco, along the Mediterranean coasts, and through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan all the way to northern India, the Himalayas and central China.

They are 13-15 cm long and have a wingspan of 32-35 cm. They weigh 23-24 g.

Eurasian crag martins prefer to breed in mountainous areas, but can be found in virtually any biome that has a plentiful insect population and offers supplies for nest building during the breeding season.

They mostly hunt insects and other arthropods on the wing, taking flies, ants, aerial spiders and beetles, but also aquatic insects like stoneflies, caddisflies and pond skaters.

Eurasian crag martins in May-August. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of an open half cup made of mud and lined with soft material such as feathers or dry grass. The nest is generally placed in a rock cliff face, crevice, or in man-made structures such as bridges and dams. There the female lays 2-5 white eggs with brownish blotches, which are incubated mainly by the female for 13–17 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 24-27 days after hatching, but continue to receive food from the parents for another 2-3 weeks. Each pair typically raises 2 broods per season.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 500.000-5.000.000 individuals. The population is estimated to be increasing following a recorded northward range expansion perhaps linked to the increased use of artificial structures as nest sites.

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