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Ashy Woodswallow

From Opus

Alternative names: Ashy Swallow-Shrike; Ashy Woodswallow Shrike

Photo by ChaiyanRural Chainat District, central Thailand, December 2002
Photo by Chaiyan
Rural Chainat District, central Thailand, December 2002
Artamus fuscus


[edit] Identification

19cm (7½ in). A stocky, long-winged bird:

  • Heavy silvery bill
  • Rounded dark tail broadly white tipped
  • Slaty grey on head
  • Brownish on back
  • Narrow white rump band
  • Pinkish grey below with whitish vent and wing-linings

Sexes similar. Juveniles are darker and browner and have pale buffy spots above and mottling below. Their bill is dark.
The only Woodswallow in its range.

[edit] Distribution

Most of the Indian Subcontinent (except northwest and much of Ganges plain) and Sri Lanka east to Burma, south and southeast China (with Hainan), Thailand (except south) and Indochina (Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia).

Widespread and fairly common in its range.


 A. fuscus; year-round
Maps/Texts consulted2,3

Photo by HS-TRASurin, Thailand, March 2016
Photo by HS-TRA
Surin, Thailand, March 2016

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].

[edit] Habitat

Open and cultivated areas. Often seen near city edges perched on overhead electric supply cables. Occurs up to 2100m.

[edit] Behaviour

They huddle together early morning to keep warm.

[edit] Diet

An insectivorous species, obtaining most of its prey in flight. Forages singly, in pairs or small flocks.

[edit] Breeding

Breeding season from March to July, earlier in Sri Lanka. The nest is a shallow cup made of rootlets and other fibrous material. It's placed up to 12m above the ground often in a palm tree, sometimes in tree holes. Lays 2-3 eggs.

[edit] Movements

Generally a resident species.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from
  2. Rasmussen, PC and JC Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334672
  3. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507
  4. BF Member observations

[edit] External Links


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