Nest site selection and present status of the Sand Martin, Riparia riparia (L. 1758), in the province of Ourense (NW Spain)


Published: Volume 44(1), June 1997. Pages 41-49.

Language: Spanish

Original Title: Nidotópica y situación actual del Avión Zapador, Riparia riparia (L. 1758), en la provincia de Ourense (NO España)

Keywords: census, characteristics of colonies, density, distribution, phenology, Riparia riparia and Sand Martin.


Present breeding of the Sand Martin was confirmed in 1994-95 in 17 UTM squares of 10 x 10 km and past breeding in 11 additional squares. The arrivals of Sand Martins began in early March and the colonies were fully occupied in late March. First broods started from late April to mid June. Colonies built in artificial banks facing north were the most common. Most colonies had less than 40 pairs (range 2-120). Most nest-holes were excavated between 25 and 125 cm from the top of the banks and between 2 and 8 m from the bottom. Colonies were less abundant above 400 m of altitude, although there were colonies up to 1305 m.a.s.l., the highest altitude reported for Europe. The species preferred alluvial areas, followed by granitic, and avoided the metamorphic ones. The breeding population was estimated to be 775-845 pairs.

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