Sand Martin’s Nesting Site Has Been “Hardened”: Shijiazhuang’s River Regulation, Where Do the Birds Go?
2020/3/26 16:27:00 本站

On March 22nd, the volunteer team of China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) found that the site that sand martins had built nests in Shijiazhuang in the past, this year, due to the local government's improvement of river hardening. Their survival was facing a serious crisis.


Sand martins are distributed in various parts of the world. They move south to overwinter in winter and travel to and from China's northern region and Southeast Asia every year. They are “Three-value” protection animals with beneficial, important economic value, and scientific research value. This bird is about 13 cm long, smaller than a barn swallow, has a short and flat beak, and has grayish-brown back feathers. It is also a good bird for mosquitoes and flies. They inhabit the steep walls of gullies and mountain rock zones. They often nest on sandy hard soil overhangs on river or lakeshores and riverbank sandstones. They are named because they like to build nests on sandy cliffs, and also known as "cliff architects".


“Sand martins fly here to dig a hole to build a nest in April every year, spawn and hatch in May, and the little birds are born at the end of May. It takes another month to breed the brood. The little birds come out at the end of June. We discovered there are sand martins in this section of the river channel last year. This year, it is planned to carry out key protection and publicity work for little swallows before they arrive. However, it was discovered yesterday that because of the hardening of the river, even there is no place for them to build a nest." On March 24th, Mr. Red, a volunteer from CBCGDF who just finished patrol, returned from the river, told CBCGDF.


Volunteers said that the river channel was originally wide, and the water flow was not large. However, the bottom of the river channel has been completely hardened, and many landscape trees have been planted. It is much more beautiful than before, but the reeds and water plants in the river channel were gone. Originally, more than 30 black storks, a national-level protected animal, lived here, but now they have to leave their homes for many years because of river hardening.


One more week, these little sand martins are coming to Shijiazhuang, but now they have nowhere to build nests. Where do they go? While seeking for the development of human beings, is it possible to leave a little space for other creatures, please give little birds home and don't let them stray!

(Photo credit: CBCGDF volunteers)

Original Chinese article:

By / Xueyan Modified / Tongtong, Maggie