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Aves, 22/1 | 1985 | 3-34

  Nesting of the House Martin (Delichon urbica) in the South and east of the Brussels region.
Walravens, M. & Langhendries, R.

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Article summary

Under the impulsion of Aves-Jeunes, a check was carried out from April to August 1982 to find the number of the House Martin nests in the South and East of the Brussels region. 750 intact nests were found and 357 damaged nests and traces, which corresponds to a few more than 500 pairs of Martins. They are spread out in loose colonies, according to the urbanisation axes of the capital, particularly in the outskirts. The presence of wooded zones and possibly wet zones is essential for the survival of a colony of House Martins, supplying both their food and construction material for their nests. The type of building chosen and the supporting material are of little consequence, provided that the architecture (cornice, eaves, balcony, ... ) enables the nest to be constructed. In spite of the astonishing adaptation faculty of the species, House Martins are little by little deserting the centre of the city, but appear to be holding on in the outskirts. This last few years a general tendency towards diminution appears to be taking place, aggravated by disastrous weather conditions. Only a future investigation can establish whether this decline is deep-seated or if it is only a temporary fluctuation. It is advisable in any case to follow very closely the evolution of House Martin populations, a precious living witness of the environment quality of our large cities.

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