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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 13, 2021

Dusky Woodswallow: 15 Facts You Won't Believe!

Discover interesting dusky woodswallow facts about their habitat, order, family, and distribution of flocks.

The dusky woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus) is one of the few birds of the world that are endemic to Australia. These natives of Australia are most commonly identified by the distinctive white stripe on their outer wing and the black tip on their bill. These woodswallows have a dark brown colored body with a very pretty blue color on each wing, and a somewhat long tail.

This wood-swallow species is known to build nests in flocks right before the breeding season. The flocks usually consist of 20-40 birds that roost together. During the breeding season, the female dusky woodswallow lays its eggs in a cup-shaped nest and both parents incubate the eggs for a period of about 16 days. Both parents also take up the responsibility of feeding their children. Baby dusky woodswallows are dark brown or smoky brown in color, and have cream colored patches on their bodies which turn dark as they age.

In terms of diet, dusky woodswallows are omnivores. While they predominantly feed on insects, they also feed on the nectar of flowers and on some fruits that are abundant in their habitat. It is also interesting to note that these birds are capable of catching flying insects, as well as of foraging through the ground to find prey.

For more relatable content, check out our swallow facts and cliff-swallow facts for kids.

Dusky Woodswallow Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a dusky woodswallow?

The dusky woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus) is a member of the large family of birds of the world. There are many species of wood-swallows including little woodswallow and masked woodswallow.

What class of animal does a dusky woodswallow belong to?

In scientific terms, these birds are classified as Aves, like most bird species. However, in popular language, the class that we associate them with is birds.

How many dusky woodswallows are there in the world?

Given their conservation status and the fact that they are so widespread in places like Australia, it becomes very difficult to give a definite number of their population. Additionally, these birds are also nomadic which makes it all the more difficult to carry out a study about their population.

Where does a dusky woodswallow live?

Dusky woodswallows prefer to live in places such as eucalyptus forests and woodlands. Occassionally, a flock or two are also found near water bodies.

What is a dusky woodswallow's habitat?

The dusky woodswallow range map is pretty widespread throughout Australia. Their populations are found in eastern, southern, as well as in western Australia. During the winter months, these woodswallows are often seen to be migrating towards the north. Apart from this, this species is endemic to Australia.

One of the fun facts about dusky woodswallow birds is that they are a very rare and a treasured sight in New Zealand.

Who do dusky woodswallows live with?

Dusky woodswallows are a colonial species. Their distribution is usually found in flocks of more than 20 which build nests in close proximity with each other and roost together. They usually build the nests during breeding season.

How long does a dusky woodswallow live?

While the lifespan of the dusky woodswallow bird is not known, the lifespan of the masked woodswallow is of around 17 years which tells us a lot about the approximate age of our little fluffy friends as well.

How do they reproduce?

The dusky woodswallow bird is an oviparous species, like most other Aves, which means that they are egg-layers. This bird species in is known to lay around three to four tiny eggs during the breeding season.

The nests that they build are cup shaped and are made of twigs and fine grass. During the incubation period of 16 days, both male and female dusky woodswallows take up equal responsibilities. Baby dusky woodswallow birds are dark brown in color, with fawn or cream colored patches.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN, the conservation status of dusky woodswallows is Least Concern. This means that their habitat is not being degraded and their population is not set to face a dip in the near future.

Dusky Woodswallow Fun Facts

What do dusky woodswallows look like?

The dusky woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus) is a member of the Passeriformes order, family Artamidae, and are close relatives of Australian magpies and currawongs. These medium-sized birds from Australia are dark brown or smoky brown in color. The underparts of these birds are a gray-brown in color, and in the case of juveniles, the underparts are cream colored. Their wings are a dark blue-gray and have a distinctive white stripe on the outer wing which helps us in easily identifying the species. They also have blue colored underwings, and a short bill with a sharp, black colored tip which makes them quite a sight to behold. These birds from Australia also have a long tail.

The dusky woodswallow is from the Artamidae family, genus Artamus.

How cute are they?

These natives of Australia with the unique coloration in their wings, long tail gray-brown body, small bill, and blue underwings are very cute. While they might come off as a little noisy when they are chattering away, their flight sound adds to their grace and beauty.

How do they communicate?

The dusky woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus) has a very beautiful and unique call which sounds like a 'tweet-tweet'. The sound that they make while flying is soft and melodious, while the one that they make in large flocks with more of their kind is quite loud.

How big is a dusky woodswallow ?

The dusky woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus) is a medium-sized bird species from Australia. They are about 6.2-7.6 in (16-19.5 cm) in length, a lot of their length comes from their long tail.

How fast can a dusky woodswallow fly?

While the exact speed of the dusky woodswallow bird species is not known, the fact that they are capable of catching flying insects tells us that they are quite fast.

How much does a dusky woodswallow weigh?

The weight of an average dusky woodswallow is around 1.1-1.6 oz (31-46 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Not only do male and female dusky woodswallows look the same to the naked eye and have similar responsibilities during the breeding season, they also lack any distinct names. We refer to them as male dusky woodswallow birds and female dusky wood-swallow birds.

What would you call a baby dusky woodswallow?

Like in the case of other birds, baby dusky woodswallows are called nestlings when they are bound to their nests and cannot fledge.

What do they eat?

The dietary range of the dusky woodswallow species from Australia is quite diverse. While they mostly feed on flying insects such as ghost moths and grasshoppers, they also sometimes feed on the nectar of flowers and some small fruits that they can easily find throughout the range of their habitat.

Are they dangerous?

There are no records that would suggest that this bird species is harmful or dangerous in any way. They are also colonial birds which tells us that they fare well in the company of others, and would not attack any other bird species unless provoked.

Would they make a good pet?

Dusky woodswallows are not known as a commonly domesticated bird species. Their habitat is more concentrated and limited to forests and woodlands, and the same environment would be difficult to mimic. Additionally, these birds are also colonial which means that they would suffer from distress if isolated. If you ask us, it would not be the best idea to have this bird species as a pet.

Did you know...

After the breeding season, dusky woodswallows are known to perform migration towards the northern regions of Australia.

This bird species forms small flocks of more than 20 and builds nests in close proximity with each other right before the breeding season.

Dusky woodswallows from Artamidae family, genus Artamus are endemic to Australia.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our swallow tailed kite facts and common nighthawk facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Dusky woodswallow coloring pages.

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