Alternative names: White-breasted Swallow-Shrike; White-rumped Woodswallow; Lesser Woodswallow
- Artamus leucorynchus
18.5cm (7¼ in)
- Dark slaty grey to blackish-grey or dark brownish grey head, chin, throat and upperparts
- White rump and uppertail-coverts
- Blackish tail (without white terminal tail-band like Ashy Woodswallow)
- White to creamy-white underparts
- Dark brown eye
- Pale blue-grey bill with black tip
Sexes similar. Juveniles are more dark brownish with pale feather tips above and sometimes washed light buff underparts.
The subspecies differ mainly in the darkness of the upperparts.
Nine subspecies are recognized:
- A. l. humei on Coco Islands (Burma) and Andaman Islands (India)
- A. l. leucorynchus in the Philippines, Sulu Islands, Natuna Islands and Borneo
- A. l. pelewensis on Palau Islands
- A. l. amydrus on Sumatra, peninsular Malaysia, Java and Bali
- A. l. musschenbroeki on Babar and Tanimar Islands (Indonesia)
- A. l. leucopygialis in the Moluccas, New Guinea and north and east Australia
- A. l. tenuis on Banks Islands and Vanuatu
- A. l. melaleucus on New Caledonia and Loyalty Islands
Common, from open country to clearings at forest edge up to 500m, sometimes up to 1500m. Often seen near habitation, also attends herds of water buffalo or cattle.
Feeds on insects which are caught on the wing.
Often seen perched before hunting. Forages singly or in small groups.
Co-operative breeding recorded. the nest is a cup made of sticks and grass. It's placed in a tree fork, a hollow branch or in an artifical structure (eg fence post). Lays 3 - 4 eggs.
A mainly resident species. In parts of its range nomadic and some north-south migratory movements recorded in Australia.
- 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/
- Rasmussen, PC and JC Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334672
- 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
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) White-breasted Woodswallow. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 5 August 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/White-breasted_Woodswallow