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Ivory-backed Woodswallow - BirdForum Opus

Photo by martinuk
Dumoga Bone National Park, Sulawesi Utara, Indonesia, September 2009

Alternative name: White-backed Woodswallow; Hooded Woodswallow; Celebes Woodswallow

Artamus monachus


19 - 20cm.

  • head and throat brownish-grey
  • chin and lores black
  • wings and tail blackish-grey
  • rest of plumage including mantle white
  • eye dark brown
  • bill pale blue-grey with black tip

Sexes similar. Juveniles not yet described.

Similar species

White-breasted Woodswallow has dark-grey mantle and upperparts. Bismarck Woodswallow is darker and more contrasting and ranges don't overlap.


Only found on Sulawesi, Lembeh, Banggai Islands and the Sula Archipelago in Indonesia.
Patchily distributed but locally common. Rarer than sympatric White-breasted Woodswallow.


Forms a superspecies with Bismarck Woodswallow and Great Woodswallow (and possibly Fiji Woodswallow and White-breasted Woodswallow).


Forest, openings and forest edges. Occurs from 200 - 2000m. Generally in more heavily wooded ares than White-breasted Woodswallow.


Feeds on insects. Soars and hawks over the canopy in groups of up to 20 birds.
One nest was recorded in late July in a tree. No other information about breeding.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  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

Recommended Citation

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