Nature Conservation Products


Sand Martin Banks

A GFB Sand Martin Nesting Bank is unique and instantly creates the opportunity for these small migratory birds to breed in wetland habitat where natural banks are not available. Each cabinet has 48 nesting chambers and can be positioned singly or multiple cabinets can be installed to create larger banks.

A GFB Sand Martin Nesting Bank is unique and instantly creates the opportunity for these small migratory birds to breed in wetland habitat where natural banks are not available. Each cabinet has 48 nesting chambers and can be positioned singly or multiple cabinets can be installed to create larger banks.

The banks are manufactured with a structural timber frame clad with water resistant fibreboard, the front and sides of the cabinets are sand coated to replicate a natural bank. Pipes provide the nesting tunnels from the front panel into the nesting chambers and these are filled with sand so the martins have to excavate their own nest holes just as they would do on a river bank. The roof of each cabinet is fibre-glassed and designed to have growing medium and plants on the top. This is important because it absorbs heat from the sun in summer and helps to regulate the internal temperature of the nesting cabinet, also, along with the sand coating to the front and sides growing plants on the roof help to blend the banks into their environment. The rear of the cabinets have double lockable doors allowing access to all the nesting chambers for the purpose of cleaning and replenishing sand at the end of a nesting season, in addition licensed bird ringers can access the nesting chambers to ring the young before fledging.

To minimise the possibility of predation the ideal positioning of the banks is at least one metre over and above the water. At some sites there are existing platforms already available in suitable positions but if not GFB will install the banks on a cantilever pier designed to suit the site.

Hundreds of young Sand Martins have now been ringed from GFB Sand Martin Nesting Banks since GFB first installed one three years ago. We are eagerly awaiting news from this year’s breeding season to see if any of the young birds fledged from previous seasons have returned to successfully rear their own families in our boxes.

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