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Little Woodswallow - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Mat & Cathy
Purnululu Range, WA, Australia, September 2005
Artamus minor


12 to 14 cm. The smallest Woodswallow

  • Dark chocolate-brown overall
  • Deep gunmetal grey wings and tail
  • Darker on face
  • Tail tipped white on outer rectrices
  • Pale blue-grey bill with dark tip

Sexes similar. Juveniles are paler and have a diffuse buff streaking above and below.

Similar species

Dusky Woodswallow is bigger and has a white edge on the wing.


Found in Australia except in the south.
Locally common in its range.


Two subspecies recognized:


Rugged terrain around inland ranges.


Feeds on insects which are mainly taken on wing. Takes also nectar.
Usually seen singly, in pairs or small groups. Often in mixed-species flocks with other Woodswallows.
Breeding recorded from September to January. Breeds solitary or co-operative. The nest is made of twigs and other vegetable matter and placed on ledge in a cave or in a crevice among rocks or sometimes in a tree hollow. 1 - 4 eggs are laid.
Probably locally resident, nomadic or partly migratory in some parts.


  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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