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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
- Woodswallow videos on the Internet Bird Collection