One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A black-and-white Eurasian songbird of the swallow family, often building its mud nest on the walls of buildings.
Genus Delichon, family Hirundinidae: three species, in particular the widespread D. urbica
- ‘I can hear house martins chattering away in their nests under the eaves as I write these words.’
- ‘Some species, like swallows and house martins, are in decline and this exercise will help assess the state of their insect food source.’
- ‘In dry conditions when wet mud is difficult to obtain swallows will take over old nests of other birds including house martins and blackbirds.’
- ‘These woodpeckers have also regularly attacked colonies of nesting house martins by clinging to the side of the inverted mud dome and chipping away a hold.’
- ‘Even more resourceful are house martins nesting on ships.’
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