March 5, 2016 – Sand Martin, Bank Swallow, Collared Sand Martin, Common Sand Martin, European Sand Martin, or Gorgeted Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)

Requested by: @derbytup

Breeding in North America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, these swallows migrate to Central and South America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, and Southern Asia. They catch insects in flight, or sometimes pick them from the ground or water’s surface. Feeding alone or in flocks, they are frequently seen with other species of swallows. They nest in colonies containing between 10 and 2,000 pairs, building burrows near bodies of water which can be over three feet (one meter) long. Males begin excavation before finding mates, then females help complete the burrows and both parents build the nests from grass, twigs, leaves, feathers, and other materials. Though females do most of the incubation, males assist with caring for the chicks.