Sunday, 17 July 2011

White-browed woodswallow

Artamus superciliosus

Photo by Tom Tarrant (Wikipedia)

Common name:
white-browed woodswallow (en); andorinha-do-bosque-de-sobrolho-branco (pt); langrayen bridé (fr); artamo cejiblanco (es); weißbrauen-schwalbenstar (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Artamidae

This Australian species is found throughout eastern Australia ans northern Tasmania.

These birds are 19-21 cm long and weigh 35-40 g.

The white-browed woodswallow is found in a wide range of inland habitats, from eucalypt forests and woodlands to dry heaths and spinifex. It can also be found in farmlands, orchards and towns.

They mostly eat aerial insects which they catch on the wing. They also eat nectar and small native fruits.

White-browed woodswallows breed in August-December. Both sexes build the nest, a shallow cup made of twigs and plant fibres in a fork, crevice or foliage in a tree or shrub, or sometimes in a vine, creeper, stump or even in artificial structures. There the female lays 2-3 eggs which are incubated by both parents for 16 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 15 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common. The population has undergone significant declines in parts of their range, mostly due to limitations of food supply and foraging substrates which are depleted by clearing and degradation of the tree and shrub layer, firewood collection, and agricultural development. Still, overall there is no evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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