The Asian House Martin (Delichon dasypus) is a small bird in the passerine Hirundinidae family of swallows.
The Asian House Martin has blue-black upperparts, a white rump, and pale-grey underparts. Its wings are brownish-black. It has a short tail. Its legs and feet are brownish-pink, and covered with white feathers. Its small eyes are brown and its beak is black.
It measures about 12 centimetres (5 inches) in length.
The Asian House Martin is native to Asia, from Russia in the north to China in the east and Indonesia to the south. It migrates in winter, but only for short distances, mainly travelling from high regions to low regions.
It feeds on insects, which it catches in the air as it flies. It eats flies, aphids, beetles, and winged ants. Sometimes it picks up caterpillars from the ground.
It lives in colonies. The male and the female make a cup-shaped mud nest together in buildings or on cliff edges. The female lays 3-4 white eggs, which hatch after 14-16 days. The male and female look after the eggs and the chicks together when they are born. The chicks take 22-32 days to gain their flight feathers.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM