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Martin, Sand

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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Johan van Rensburg
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Martin, Sand

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:22 pm

Sand martins, Riparia riparia, are summer visitors to Southern Africa from North America Europe and Asia, moving here in their non-breeding season. Here this small intercontinental migrant is widely distributed but scarce, arriving from October and again departing around the end of March. I don’t know if I have just been lucky, but I have seen sand martins this summer on numerous occasions resting alongside barn swallows on fences and phone wires.


The mortality rate of sand martins is very high. About 60% of sand martins may die each year, with young sand martins being the main victim. In the wild, the oldest sand martins live to the ripe old age of 9 years.
679 Last 5 lifers: Rüppell's vulture, Spotted crake, Lesser jacana, Burchell's courser, Double-banded courser

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Re: Martin, Sand

Unread post by hilda » Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:05 am

Wow! Nine years is quite a long life-span Johan! Especially for such a small little bird travelling so far! :clap: :clap:
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