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Species promotion – Northern House Martin

Protection and promotion for a sociable insectivore

The Northern House Martin lives in the heart of our villages and towns, where it builds its nest of clay pellets on the outside of buildings. A skilled flight artist, it is a popular bird and a typical building breeder. For this reason, the Northern House Martin should actually benefit from the ongoing expansion of built-up areas – but its numbers are in fact declining. Today, its proximity to human residential areas is increasingly becoming fatal for the Northern House Martin, as tolerance towards nests on buildings is decreasing and there is often hardly any suitable nesting material available. For this reason, it needs our help!

Domain Conservation
Unit Urban Habitat
Topic Species Recovery, Birds and Human Beings
Habitat settlements
Project start 2011
Project status ongoing
Project management Merline Roth
Project region Switzerland


Project partner(s)

  • BirdLife Schweiz
  • Cantons
  • Municipalities
  • Regional parks
  • Local associations and BirdLife sections
  • Volunteer ornithologists

Financial support

  • Marion Jean Hofer-Woodhead-Stiftung
  • Stiftung Accentus (Hildegard & Karl Isliker-Meier Stiftung)
  • Yvonne Jacob Stiftung
  • Johann Paul Stiftung
  • Rudolf und Romilda Kägi-Stiftung
  • Styner-Stiftung
  • Stotzer-Kästli-Stiftung
  • Die Tierhilfe Stiftung Ruppanner


Project team members

Species concerned

Bird species
Northern House Martin
The Northern House Martin has more and more problems in finding suitable nesting sites although towns and villages are growing. Unfortunately, nests are often wilfully destroyed because these insectivores can soil houses and the surrounding area with their droppings. With a bit of goodwill, reaso...
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Other resources
Guidebook article
Hilfe für die Mehlschwalbe (in German)
Mit den Schwalben nach Afrika und zurück (in German)
Resultate der Mehlschwalbenvolkszählung (in German)
Download PDF
Faktenblatt: Wohnungsnot bei der Mehlschwalbe (in German)
Download PDF
Unter einem Dach mit der Mehlschwalbe (in German)
Urban Habitat link

Urban Habitat

We show how gardens and green spaces become inviting for birds and where breeding grounds for birds can be created on buildings. We develop bird-friendly solutions for private individuals and municipalities and will be happy to advise you.

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