Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Black-faced Woodswallow
Artamus cinereus
(Viewing 4 of 10 photos)

Black-faced Woodswallows are birds of the wide open spaces, widespread through the inland including the agricultural zones and even the arid deserts. They also occur nearer the coast in areas such as heath where there are few trees, but in forested country, they are replaced by Dusky Woodswallows in southern Australia, and Little Woodswallows in the north.

In common with most of the other members of the family Cracticidae, Black-faced Woodswallows are quite sociable - nests are usually attended by pairs but sometimes a family group may do so. Their most distinctive behaviour is at roost when several families spend the night in a protected hollow in a community cluster. (see pic #546207). They do this every night of their lives - some roosts are quite traditional and are used for years on end, but wandering winter flocks can be more opportunistic. The largest cluster roost I ever saw was one of over 300 birds near Meekatharra in Western Australia that was under the overhanging cliff of Ejah breakaway on Mileura Station.

Photo: 546201

546201 ... Black-faced Woodswallow.

Photo: 546202

546202 ... Early morning preening session.

Photo: 546203

546203 ... Black-faced Woodswallow, nest and eggs.

Photo: 546204

546204 ... Black-faced Woodswallow, fledgling.

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