Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Masked Woodswallow
Artamus personatus
(Viewing 4 of 7 photos)

Masked and White-browed Woodswallows mingle freely together for much of their lives, particularly in inland eastern Australia. In W.A., the White-brows are rarer and Masked predominate but in the eastern states, the closer you go to the coast you'll see more White-browed with only the odd Masked bird in the migrating flocks. Details of their life histories are very similar and summarised under White-browed Woodswallow. Whilst male Masked are quite distinctive looking, females are much duller looking and can easily be confused with Black-faced Woodswallows.

Apparent hybrid individuals which exhibit intermediate characters between Masked and White-browed are fairly well-known, not all that unexpected in such closely related birds, (See pic #544204D.) but actual instances of a mixed pair nesting have never been observed.


Photo: 544201

544201 ... Masked Woodswallow, male.

Photo: 544202

544202 ... Masked Woodswallow, male.

Photo: 544203-D

544203-D ... Masked and White-browed Woodswallows drinking after eating lerps rich in sugar.

Photo: 544204-D

544204-D ... The upper bird is a hybrid male Masked/White-browed Woodswallow, male and female Masked below.


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