Artamidae – Woodswallows, Butcherbirds and allies

White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorynchus) by Ian

White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorynchus) by Ian

Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may lay her young— Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; They will still be praising You. Selah (Psalms 84:3-4 NKJV)


CLASS – AVES, Order – PASSERIFORMES, Family – Artamidae – Woodswallows,  Butcherbirds and allies


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Latest I.O.C. Version
Species (24)

Ashy Woodswallow (Artamus fuscus) by Peter Ericsson – Video
White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorynchus) by Ian – Video
____ (Artamus leucorynchus leucorynchus) by Peter Ericsson
____ (Artamus leucorynchus amydrus) OBI
____ (Artamus leucorynchus humei) OBI
____ (Artamus leucorynchus albiventer) OBI
____ (Artamus leucorynchus leucopygialis) by Tom Tarrant
____ (Artamus leucorynchus melaleucus) IBC
Fiji Woodswallow (Artamus mentalis) ©WikiC
Ivory-backed Woodswallow (Artamus monachus) by Peter Ericsson – Ivory-backed WoodswallowVideo
Great Woodswallow (Artamus maximus) ©WikiC – Video by Keith B
White-backed Woodswallow (Artamus insignis)
Masked Woodswallow (Artamus personatus) by Ian- Video by TomT
White-browed Woodswallow (Artamus superciliosus) by Ian – Video-Nick
Black-faced Woodswallow (Artamus cinereus) by Ian – Video by Nick
____ (Artamus cinereus perspicillatus) OBI
____ (Artamus cinereus dealbatus) by Ian
Dusky Woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus) by Ian – Video by Nick T
Little Woodswallow (Artamus minor) by Ian – Video by Tom T
Lowland Peltops (Peltops blainvillii) IBC
Mountain Peltops (Peltops montanus) Video IBC
Black Butcherbird (Melloria quoyi) by Ian
____ (Melloria quoyi spaldingi) IBC
____ (Melloria quoyi rufescens) IBC
Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) by Ian
____ (Gymnorhina tibicen tibicen) IBC
____ (Gymnorhina tibicen tyrannica) IBC
____ (Gymnorhina tibicen hypoleuca) IBC
____ (Gymnorhina tibicen telonocua) IBC
____ (Gymnorhina tibicen dorsalis) IBC
Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus) by BirdPhotos
____ (Cracticus torquatus argenteus) IBC
____ (Cracticus torquatus leucopterus) IBC
____ (Cracticus torquatus torquatus) by Nick Talbot
Silver-backed Butcherbird (Cracticus argenteus)
Black-backed Butcherbird (Cracticus mentalis) by Ian
____ (Cracticus mentalis kempi) IBC
Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis) by Ian
____ (Cracticus nigrogularis picatus) IBC
Hooded Butcherbird (Cracticus cassicus) Video IBC
____ (Cracticus cassicus cassicus) IBC
Tagula Butcherbird (Cracticus louisiadensis) Lananhbirds
Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina) by BirdPhotos
Black Currawong (Strepera fuliginosa) by Ian
Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor) by Ian
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On the photos or slides, a “by” indicates one of the photographers or videographers, who have given their permission, with links on our sidebar. Please visit their sight to see many more fantastic shots, a “©©” copyright symbol indicates a photo from Creative Commons and ©WikiC is a Creative Commons photo from Wikipedia. “†” indicates the bird is extinct. *LLABS* means it is on Our Life List of All Birds Seen.

Photographers or Videographers used on this page from our sidebar, Photography, are:
Ian Montgomery’s Birdway
Keith Blomerley – Videographer
Nick Talbot – Videographer
Tom Tarrant’s Aveceda


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Woodswallows are soft-plumaged, somber-coloured passerine birds. There is a single genus, Artamus, The woodswallows are either treated as a subfamily, Artaminae in an expanded family Artamidae, which includes the butcherbirds and Australian Magpie, or as the only genus in that family. The generic name, which in turn gives rise to the family name, is derived from the Ancient Greek artamos, meaning butcher or murder. The name was given due to their perceived similarity to shrikes, indeed a former common name for the group was “swallow-starlings”

Woodswallows are smooth, agile flyers with moderately large, semi-triangular wings. They are among the very few passerines birds that soar, and can often be seen feeding just above the treetops. One sedentary species aside, they are nomads, following the best conditions for flying insects, and often roosting in large flocks.
Although woodswallows have a brush-tipped tongue they seldom use it for gathering nectar. (Wikipedia)

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