IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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The Sand Martin is interesting in that it is capable of sustained flight from the first time that it launches itself from its nest hole. This is necessary for a Sand Martin to survive as, traditionally, the nest hole was, and often still is, in a sheer cliff face, often above water. It gains this ability over a number of days by flapping its wings vigorously in the nest/hole to strengthen them, then pressing its primary wing feathers and tail hard down onto the nest/hole at an angle of 45 until it is able to support its body by these alone. When it is able to support its body by its wings and tail alone for more than a few seconds, then, instinctively, it will launch itself from the nest hole.


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© Edward Cowley

Supplier: Edward Cowley


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