Manx BirdLife has welcomed an initiative by Pete Hadfield of Isle of Man professional IT Services company Skanco to provide much-needed nesting opportunities for House Martins – a species of bird that is rapidly declining across its range.
The project involved putting up four artificial House Martin nestboxes on SKANCO’s Business Continuity building within Isle of Man Business Park, Braddan.
The migratory House Martin (scientific name Delichon urbicum) is a member of the Swallow family. It breeds across Europe including the Isle for Man.
House Martins have already been seen arriving back on the Island this spring, having made the long, arduous journey from their wintering grounds in sub-Saharan Africa. The species is Amber-listed as being of conservation concern due to a 50% decline in its population over the past four decades.
There are several reasons for the species’ decline. Among these is the reduction in the insects on which it feeds, caught acrobatically on the wing.