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The Czech Society for Ornithology (CSO), in collaboration with other partners including the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic and private companies, declared the Sand Martin (Riparia riparia) as the Bird of the Year 2013.
It is a highly social species, breeding in colonies in burrows. Nesting typically takes place in vertical, streamside cliffs or banks with crumbly, eroded soils, but most of Sand Martin’s pairs use man-made sites, such as sand and gravel quarries, road cuts, and even drainage holes in concrete banks. In the Czech Republic, there are 15,000–30,000 nesting pairs and the Sand Martin has been declining due to water course canalization, destruction of small sandpits and quick large gravel-sand pits restoration.