Ashy Woodswallow (Artamus fuscus)

Ashy Woodswallow (Artamus fuscus)

The Ashy Woodswallow (Artamus fuscus) is a small passerine bird belonging to the family Artamidae. It is found primarily in South Asia and Southeast Asia, with a range that includes India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The Ashy Woodswallow inhabits a variety of habitats, such as open forests, woodlands, savannas, and cultivated areas, as well as urban parks and gardens.

Physical Characteristics:

The Ashy Woodswallow is a small bird, measuring about 16-18 centimeters (6-7 inches) in length, with a wingspan of around 25-30 centimeters (10-12 inches). The bird has a predominantly ashy-grey plumage, with darker grey on the wings and tail. Its eyes are dark brown, and the bill is bluish-grey and slightly hooked at the tip. The legs and feet are dark grey or black. There is no significant sexual dimorphism in this species, with both males and females sharing similar coloration and markings.


The Ashy Woodswallow primarily feeds on insects and other small invertebrates, such as beetles, flies, and caterpillars. They are agile fliers and often catch their prey in mid-air (a behavior known as “hawking”), or by gleaning insects from the foliage or the ground. Occasionally, they may also consume small fruits and seeds.

Reproduction and Lifecycle:

The breeding season for the Ashy Woodswallow varies depending on the location, but it generally occurs between April and August. These birds are monogamous and form long-lasting pair bonds. They build a small, cup-shaped nest from twigs, grasses, and other plant materials, usually placed in the fork of a tree or bush.

The female lays 2 to 4 pale, speckled eggs, which are incubated by both parents for around 14-16 days. After hatching, the chicks are fed and cared for by both parents until they fledge, or leave the nest, at about 14-18 days old. The young birds continue to receive care from their parents for a few more weeks before becoming fully independent.

Conservation Status:

The Ashy Woodswallow is currently listed as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to its wide distribution and stable population. The species is not facing any major threats at present. However, habitat loss due to deforestation, urbanization, and agricultural expansion could pose potential risks to the Ashy Woodswallow population in the future.

Updated: 20 April 2023 — 14:20

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