Sunday 19 May
Eurasian crag-martin (Hirundo rupestris)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Eurasian crag-martin fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Eurasian crag-martin description
Belonging to the Hirundinidae, the swallow and martin family, the Eurasian crag-martin (Hirundo rupestris) is perhaps the least energetic of these agile and elegant birds, which are normally known for their supreme abilities in flight (3) (4). Less slender than other species in this family, the Eurasian crag-martin had a dusky brown crown and upperparts, dark brown wings and a dark, square-shaped tail with white spots on underside of the feathers. The chin and throat are pale with dark speckles, becoming pale buff-brown on the breast and brown-grey on the belly (2) (3). There are dull white chevrons on each side of the vent (3). The male and female Eurasian crag-martins are similar in appearance, while the juvenile has more buff-coloured feathers and a lighter throat with indistinct mottling (2).
The Eurasian crag-martin produces a soft, twittering song, with ‘prrrt’ contact calls, ‘whee’ excitement calls, and alarm calls of varied intensities (2).
- Also known as
- Crag martin, Eurasian crag martin, European crag martin.
- Ptyonoprogne rupestris.
- Hirondelle de rochers. Top
- To keep eggs warm so that development is possible.
- The act of incubating eggs, that is, keeping them warm so that development is possible.
- Animals with no backbone, such as insects, crustaceans, worms, molluscs, spiders, cnidarians (jellyfish, corals, sea anemones), echinoderms, and others.
IUCN Red List (December, 2010)
- del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (2004) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 9: Cotingas to Pipits and Wagtails. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
Avibirds European Birdguide Online – Eurasian crag-martin (Hirundo rupestris) (December, 2010)
- Perrins, C. (2009) Encyclopedia of Birds. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
BirdLife International (December, 2010)
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
Eurasian crag-martin biology
The Eurasian crag-martin breeds between May and August, producing two broods each breeding season. The nest is built by both sexes, taking around 9 to 20 days to complete, and is an open half-cup of mud pellets lined with grass and feathers. The female continues to add to the nest throughout the nesting period. The nest is usually placed in a crevice or under an overhang on cliffs, or on bridges and buildings. Small groups of around 2 to 20 birds are usually found nesting in close proximity. A clutch of between 2 to 5 eggs is incubated almost solely by the female Eurasian crag-martin for a period of between 13 and 17 days, and the chicks are then brooded for around 10 to 11 days following hatching. The chicks are fed continually by both sexes at roughly 5 minute intervals until they leave the nest after 24 to 27 days. The fledgling chicks continue to be fed by the adults for a further 14 to 21 days, returning to the nest each night to roost (2) (3).
The Eurasian crag-martin generally feeds on small, flying invertebrates, such as flies, beetles, butterflies and moths, which it catches on the wing as it glides steadily in flight, or which it takes from the rocks as it passes (2) (3) (4). It may occasionally perch on the ground to feed, and will also catch insects from the surface of water (2). The Eurasian crag-martin typically feeds close to cliff faces, often in pairs or small groups (2) (3).Top
Eurasian crag-martin range
The Eurasian crag-martin has a wide breeding range throughout southern Europe, northwest Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and southwest Asia, southern Russia to Siberia, north Mongolia, the Himalayas, and China. It winters in the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Middle East, India and southern China (2).Top
Eurasian crag-martin habitat
The Eurasian crag-martin is found in mountainous areas and on crags, coastal cliffs and around human habitation. It is typically found at altitudes of 500 to 1,000 metres, although in Asia it has been recorded up to 4,500 metres (2) (3).Top
Eurasian crag-martin status
The Eurasian crag-martin is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Eurasian crag-martin threats
The Eurasian crag-martin is not considered globally threatened. It is widespread and common throughout most of its range (2) (3), and the population is thought to be expanding northwards, perhaps due to the Eurasian crag-martins increased use of artificial structures (buildings and bridges) as nest sites (2) (5).Top
Eurasian crag-martin conservation
There are no known conservation measures in place for the Eurasian crag-martin.Top
Find out more
To find out more about the Eurasian crag-martin and other birds, see:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
More »Related species
Play the Team WILD game
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.