Common House-Martin ( Delichon urbicum, family: Hirundinidae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called House Martin

common house martin kruger national park birds The Common House-Martin (Latin name Delichon urbicum) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 530 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 762 also a picture of the Common House-Martin on page 801. The Common House-Martin belongs to the family of birds classified as Hirundinidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Common House-Martin is also known by these other names: European House Martin.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Common House-Martin was called the House Martin. The Robert's 7 Latin name for Common House-Martin has changed from Delichon urbica in Robert's 6 to Delichon urbicum.

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Common House-Martin is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common summer visitor

In terms of distribution of the Common House-Martin in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Common House-Martin : see above distribution map.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The Common House-Martin is a small bird about the size of a house sparrow. Do not take this relative indicator as anything other than a rough easy to remember indicator. It is not a accurate visualization. The height of the Common House-Martin is about 15 cms and its weight is about 13 gms

The male and female Common House-Martin have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is blue, black.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is blue, black.
  • Legs are pink.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Common House-Martin feeds on the ground and on wing mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Common House-Martin takes on more than a single mate (it is bigamous).

The nesting habit of Common House-Martin is extra limital

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Common House-Martin are: grasslands

You can see Common House-Martin in flocks. The bird will often also be seen singly.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Huisswael

German ... Mehlschwalbe

Portuguese ... Andorinha-dos-beirais

French ... Hirondelle de fentre

Dutch ... Huiszwaluw

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 530

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,