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Dusky Woodswallow

From Opus

Photo © by rebelxtAdelaide, Australia, October 2005
Photo © by rebelxt
Adelaide, Australia, October 2005
Artamus cyanopterus


[edit] Identification

JuvenilePhoto © by rebelxtAdelaide, Australia, October 2005
Photo © by rebelxt
Adelaide, Australia, October 2005

18 cm (7 in)

  • Deep brown-grey
  • Dark blue grey wings with white edges
  • White patch on outer wing
  • Black tail has broad white tip
  • Silver-white underwings
  • Blue bill with black tip
  • Dark brown iris

Sexes similar

  • Grey brown with buff and cream streaks and mottling

[edit] Similar species

Little Woodswallow is smaller and has no white line on wing.

[edit] Distribution

Found in south, southeast and east Australia, including Tasmania.
Locally common in its range.

[edit] Taxonomy

Photo © by peterdayAlligator Gorge, South Australia, Australia, October 2017
Photo © by peterday
Alligator Gorge, South Australia, Australia, October 2017

[edit] Subspecies

There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • A. c. cyanopterus in east and southeast Australia, Tasmania, Kangaroo Island and islands in Bass Strait
  • A. c. perthi from southwest Australia east to Eyre Peninsula

These two subspecies are only weakly differentiated and integrate in south Australia.

[edit] Habitat

Woodland, open forests and agricultural area.

[edit] Behaviour

Often seen perched. Forages singly, in pairs or small groups. Often in mixed-species flocks.

[edit] Diet

Feeds mostly on insects taken on the wing, takes also nectar.

[edit] Breeding

Photo © by Hans&Judy BesteTaromeo, S.E. Queensland, Australia, June-2018
Photo © by Hans&Judy Beste
Taromeo, S.E. Queensland, Australia, June-2018

Breeding season from August to February. Usually a solitary nester, sometimes co-operative with helpers. The bowl shaped nest is built by both sexes from twigs, grass and roots, and is lined with fine grass. Lays 2 - 3 eggs. Both sexes incubate the eggs and care for the young.

Southern populations migrate north in austral winter, eg leaving Tasmania in April and returning in October.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. 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

[edit] External Links


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