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White-browed Woodswallow - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Artamus superciliosus)
Male
Photo © by Gallus
Victoria, Australia
Artamus superciliosus

Identification

18 - 19cm. A sexually dimorphic Woodswallow:

Male

  • Dark grey above and dark grey from chin to upper breast
  • Distinct clear white eyebrow
  • White tipped tail
  • Dark rufous underparts below breast
  • Dark brown eye
  • Pale blue-grey bill with black tip

Female

Female
Photo © by Nora
Harkness Rd, Melton, Victoria, Australia, December 2008
  • Generally duller and paler than male
  • Brownish wash above
  • Less conspicuous eyebrow
  • Much paler underparts below breast

Juveniles are duller and browner than adults and are whitish spotted and streaked above and below.

Distribution

Found in central and inland eastern Australia. Irregular in other parts of the continent. Has bred in Tasmania and possibly in New Zealand.
Locally common but irregularly.

Taxonomy

Monotypic.
Most closely related to Masked Woodswallow.

Habitat

Photo © by Ken Doy
Quilpie, Queensland, 17 August 2020

Eucalypt forests and woodlands, dry heaths, spinifex, farmlands, orchards and sometimes towns.

Behaviour

Feeds mainly on insects, takes sometimes also nectar. Nestlings are fed with grasshoppers, cicadas and large flying insects. Catches prey on wing, usually starting from a perch. Sometimes pounces on visible prey.
Usually seen in pairs or small groups, during migration in bigger flocks.
Breeds mainly from September to December, solitary or more often in loose colonies, sometimes in mixed colonies with Masked Woodswallow. A loose shallow nest is built from twigs, grasses and roots, and placed in a tree fork, hollow stump or fence post, about 1 m to 6 m above the ground. 2-3 eggs are laid. Both sexes build the nest, incubate the eggs and feed the young. Colonies are sometimes suddenly abandoned because of food shortage.
Highly nomadic.

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Rowley, I. and E. Russell (2020). White-browed Woodswallow (Artamus superciliosus), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.whbwoo5.01
  3. Simpson, K and N Day. 1998. Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-4877-5

Recommended Citation

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