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Birds Guide


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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Artamidae
Subfamily: Artaminae
Genus: Artamus
Vieillot, 1816
Many, see text

Woodswallows are soft-plumaged, somber-coloured passerine birds found in Australia and the islands nearby. Given their moderate size—about the same as a Common Starling—and dull plumage, they are amongst the easiest of birds to observe and recognise. In flight, they look very like large, stiff-winged swallows, and like swallows, they mostly eat flying insects.

Woodswallows are smooth, agile flyers with moderately large, semi-triangular wings. They are among the very few passerines birds that soar, and can often be seen feeding just above the treetops. One sedentary species aside, they are nomads, following the best conditions for flying insects, and often roosting in large flocks.

Although woodswallows have a brush-tipped tongue they seldom use it for gathering nectar.

Species of Artamus

  • Ashy Woodswallow, Artamus fuscus
    Fiji Woodswallow, Artamus mentalis
    White-backed Woodswallow, Artamus monachus
    Great Woodswallow, Artamus maximus
    White-breasted Woodswallow, Artamus leucorynchus
    Bismarck Woodswallow, Artamus insignis
    Masked Woodswallow, Artamus personatus
    White-browed Woodswallow, Artamus superciliosus
    Black-faced Woodswallow, Artamus cinereus
    Dusky Woodswallow, Artamus cyanopterus
    Little Woodswallow, Artamus minor

External links

Home | Up | Artamus | Cracticus | Gymnorhina | Currawong

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