Wednesday, August 30

Large (Indian) cuckooshrike photos

   ›      ›   Large (Indian) cuckooshrike (Coracina macei) photos
Taxonomic classification   <>   Photos
The large cuckooshrike (Coracina macei) belongs to the family Campephagidae under the order Passeriformes.

Indian (large) cuckooshrike taxonomy

The family Campephagidae was first described by Nicholas Aylward Vigors (1785 – 26 October 1840), an Irish zoologist and politician, in 1825.

The family Campephagidae comprises 316 species in eight genera, viz., Campephaga, Coracina, Lobotos, Pteropodocys, Campochaera, Lalage (trillers), Pericrocotus (minivets) and Hemipus (flycatcher-shrikes).

The genus Coracina was first described by Louis Pierre Vieillot (May 10, 1748 – August 24, 1830), a French ornithologist, in the year 1816. The genus Coracina contains 49 recognized species.

The species Coracina macei (as Graucalus Macei) was first described by Lesson in the year 1830. The genus comprises eight subspecies, viz., Coracina macei macei, Coracina macei layardi, Coracina macei nipalensis, Coracina macei rexpineti, Coracina macei andamana, Coracina macei siamensis, Coracina macei larutensis and Coracina macei larvivora.
Taxonomic classification
Binomial name:Coracina macei
Species:C. macei
Genus:Coracina
Subfamily:-
Family:Campephagidae
Order:Passeriformes
Class:Aves
Phylum:Chordata
Kingdom:Animalia
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Photos
Coracina macei
1.Indian birds - Large cuckooshrike - Coracina macei
Photo by Websumanta

Coracina macei
2.Indian birds - Large cuckooshrike - Coracina macei
Photo by Subramanya C K

Coracina macei
3.Indian birds - Large cuckooshrike - Coracina macei
Photo by nbu2012

Coracina macei
4.Indian birds - Large cuckooshrike - Coracina macei
Photo by nbu2012

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Coracina macei
5.Indian birds - Large cuckooshrike - Coracina macei
Photo by nbu2012

Coracina macei
6.Indian birds - Large cuckooshrike - Coracina macei
Photo by Shanthanu Bhardwaj

Coracina macei
7.Indian birds - Large cuckooshrike - Coracina macei
Photo by Shanthanu Bhardwaj

Coracina macei
8.Indian birds - Large cuckooshrike - Coracina macei
by Tsganesh

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1.Indian cuckooshrike photo source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Large_Cuckooshrike_(Coracina_macei).jpg (cropped)
Author: Websumanta | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
2.Photo source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BN_GHC.jpg (cropped)
Author: Subramanya C K | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
3.Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/89378621@N06/8345135085/ (cropped)
Author: nbu2012 | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 8/29/17
4.Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/89378621@N06/8345106619/ Author: nbu2012 | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 8/29/17
5.Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/89378621@N06/10536324585/ Author: nbu2012 | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 8/29/17
6.Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tengen/3222949843/ Author: Shanthanu Bhardwaj | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 8/30/17 7.Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tengen/3222949849/ Author: Shanthanu Bhardwaj | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 8/30/17 8.Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org Author: Tsganesh | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Current topic in Indian birds: Large cuckooshrike (Coracina macei) photos.
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Tuesday, August 29

Large (Indian) cuckooshrike

   ›      ›   Large cuckooshrike - Coracina macei

The large cuckooshrike (Coracina macei) belongs to the family of trillers, minivets and cuckooshrikes, Campephagidae.

The large cuckooshrike species are distributed in Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia, China and Taiwan. These cuckooshrike species are mainly insectivorous and will take large hairy caterpillars. These Indian cuckooshrikes are polytypic species.

Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Large (Indian) Cuckooshrike Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Large (Indian) cuckooshrike - Overview

  • Scientific name: Coracina macei
  • Species author: (Lesson, 1830)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Graucalus Macei Lesson, 1831
  • Family: Campephagidae › Passeriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Large cuckooshrike, Chinese: 大鹃鵙, French: Échenilleur de Macé, German: Maskenraupenfänger, Spanish: Oruguero indio, Russian: Большой сорокопутовый личинкоед, Japanese: オオオニサンショウクイ
  • Other names: Indian cuckooshrike, Black-throated Cuckooshrike
  • Distribution: Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia, China, Taiwan
  • Diet and feeding habits: insects
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)

Appearance, physical description and identification

The large (Indian) cuckooshrike (Coracina macei) is a medium-large arboreal birds with long and slender body, measuring 25 to 30 cm in length.

The overall plumage of these Indian cuckooshrike species is shades of gray. The upperparts, including upperwing-coverts are gray. The rump and the uppertail coverts are pale gray. The uppertail is blackish gray.

The lores connect the region between the nostrils and eyes and extend a little beyond the eyes and are blackish. The underparts are pale gray. There is fine striations on the chin, throat and breast. The undertail is gray.

The bill is massive, hooked and grayish black in color. The irises are dark brown. The feet are dark gray. The call of these Indian cuckooshrike species is a loud "kleep" and "klu-eep" sound.
Indian birds - Picture of Large cuckooshrike - Coracina macei
1.Indian birds - Image of Large cuckooshrike - Coracina macei by Subramanya C K

Indian birds - Photo of Large cuckooshrike - Coracina macei
2.Indian birds - Picture of Large cuckooshrike - Coracina macei by Websumanta

Indian birds - Image of Large cuckooshrike - Coracina macei
3.Indian birds - Photo of Large cuckooshrike - Coracina macei by nbu2012

Origin, geographical range and distribution

The large cuckooshrike species are distributed in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, China and Taiwan.

In India, except for the arid regions, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, these large cuckooshrike species are distributed in all the states.

The large cuckooshrike nominate subspecies Coracina macei macei is distributed south of Indian Himalayas. The subspecies C. m. layardi is distributed in Sri Lanka.

The Indian cuckooshrike subspecies C. m. nipalensis is distributed in Lower Indian Himalayas, Nepal, Sikkim and west Assam. The Indian subspecies C. m. andamana is distributed Andaman Islands.

The large cuckooshrike subspecies C. m. rexpineti is distributed in southeast China (Fujian, Guangdong and Yunnan), Taiwan and northern Laos. The subspecies C. m. larvivora is distributed in southern China (Hainan).

The subspecies C. m. siamensis is distributed in southwest China (Yunnan), Myanmar, peninsular Thailand, Cambodia, southern Laos and southern Vietnam. The subspecies C. m. larutensis is distributed in peninsular Malaysia.

Ecosystem and habitat

These large cuckooshrike species have moderate forest dependence. These species normally occur in altitudes from 0 to 2000 meters.

The artificial ecosystems and habitats of these Indian cuckooshrike species include cultivated fields, rural gardens, teak and pine plantations and heavily degraded forests.

The natural ecosystems of these large cuckooshrike species include tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests, evergreen forests, tropical and subtropical dry forests, tropical and subtropical moist shrublands, open wooded country, moist montane forests and dry savanna.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of the large cuckooshrike consists mainly of large insects. Large hairy caterpillars, crickets, spiders, locust, grasshoppers, dragonflies, moths, mantids, stick insects, weevils, worms, grubs, termites and beetles are their primary food.

These Indian cuckooshrike species glean insects from foliage and also from trunk and branches. They fly just above the forest canopy and hawk flying insects.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of the large cuckooshrike species is from January to November in Indian subcontinent. The breeding season is in April and May in myanmar. The laying season is from March to May in peninsular Malaysia.

These large cuckooshrike species are monogamous and highly territorial and the territories are maintained year round. The breeding pair take part in nest building, incubating and raising the young ones.

A compact, cup-shaped nest is built on a fork of a tree. The typical Indian cuckooshrike clutch contains four blotchy eggs. The chicks hatch out in 14 days. Both parents brood the chicks and also feed them.

Migration and movement patterns

These large cuckooshrike species are non-migrant resident birds.

Post breeding, the juvenile Indian cuckooshrikes may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding within their range.

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the large cuckooshrike (Coracina macei) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of these species is reported to be stable.

Throughout its range this species is reported to be rare to common. The generation length is 4.6 years. Its distribution size is about 3,300,000 sq.km.

Habitat degradation and fragmentation, decline in insect populations due to indiscriminate use of pesticides are the main threats that may endanger the survival of these Indian cuckooshrike species.

IUCN and CITES status

The large cuckooshrike (Coracina macei) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable, either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the cuckooshrike species and has listed it as of "Least Concern". The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for Indian cuckooshrike (Coracina macei).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Coracina macei
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Passeriformes
Family:Campephagidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Coracina
Species:C. macei
Binomial name:Coracina macei
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
The eight recognized subspecies of large (Indian) cuckooshrike are: Coracina macei macei, Coracina macei layardi, Coracina macei nipalensis, Coracina macei rexpineti, Coracina macei andamana, Coracina macei siamensis, Coracina macei larutensis and Coracina macei larvivora.
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1.Photos source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BN_GHC.jpg (cropped)
Photo author: Subramanya C K | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
2.Photos source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Large_Cuckooshrike_(Coracina_macei).jpg (cropped)
Photo author: Websumanta | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
3.Photos source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/89378621@N06/8345135085/ (cropped)
Photo author: nbu2012 | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 8/29/17
Current topic on Indian birds: Large cuckooshrike - Coracina macei.
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Monday, August 28

Common iora photos

   ›      ›   Common iora (Aegithina tiphia) photos
Taxonomic classification   <>   Photos
The common iora (Aegithina tiphia) belongs to the family Aegithinidae under the order Passeriformes.

Common iora taxonomy

The species in the family Aegithinidae were formerly grouped with the leafbirds and fairy-bluebirds, in the family Irenidae. The family Aegithinidae was first described by George Robert Gray FRS (8 July 1808 – 6 May 1872), an English zoologist and head of the ornithological section of the British Museum, in 1869.

The family Aegithinidae is monotypic and contains only one genus, Aegithina. The genus Aegithina was first erected by Louis Pierre Vieillot (May 10, 1748 – August 24, 1830), a French ornithologist, in 1816.

The genus Aegithina contains four species, viz., Aegithina tiphia, Aegithina nigrolutea, Aegithina viridissima and Aegithina lafresnayei. The species Aegithina tiphia has eleven subspecies under it, viz., A. t. tiphia, A. t. scapularis, A. t. septentrionalis, A. t. viridis, A. t. humei, A. t. aequanimis, A. t. multicolor, A. t. cambodiana, A. t. philipi, A. t. horizoptera and A. t. deignani.
Taxonomic classification
Binomial name:Aegithina tiphia
Species:A. tiphia
Genus:Aegithina
Subfamily:-
Family:Aegithinidae
Order:Passeriformes
Class:Aves
Phylum:Chordata
Kingdom:Animalia
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Aegithina tiphia
1.Common iora - Aegithina tiphia
Photo by Soumyajit Nandy

Aegithina tiphia
2.Common iora - Aegithina tiphia
Photo by Doug Janson

Aegithina tiphia
3.Common iora - Aegithina tiphia
Photo by Doug Janson

Aegithina tiphia
4.Common iora - Aegithina tiphia
Photo by Lip Kee

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Aegithina tiphia
5.Common iora - Aegithina tiphia
Photo by Lip Kee

Aegithina tiphia
6.Common iora - Aegithina tiphia
Photo by Thimindu Goonatillake

Aegithina tiphia
7.Common iora - Aegithina tiphia
Photo by Lip Kee

Aegithina tiphia
8.Common iora - Aegithina tiphia
Photo by John Boyle

Aegithina tiphia
9.Common iora - Aegithina tiphia
Photo by Melvin Yap

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1.Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Common_Iora_in_Sundarban.jpg (cropped)
Author: Soumyajit Nandy | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
2.Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aegithina_tiphia-20080910.jpg (cropped)
Author: Doug Janson | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
3.Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aegithina_tiphia-20080910B.jpg (cropped)
Author: Doug Janson | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
4.Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/64565252@N00/4916899178 (cropped)
Author: Lip Kee | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 8/28/17
5.Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lipkee/21105441355/ (cropped)
Author: Lip Kee | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 8/28/17
6.Source: https://wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aegithina_tiphia_-Yala_National_Park,_Sri_Lanka_-male-8_(cropped).jpg (cropped)
Author: Thimindu Goonatillake | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 8/28/17
7.Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lipkee/3066225919/ (cropped)
Author: Lip Kee | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 8/28/17
8.Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/113253155@N06/16869916136/ (cropped)
Author: John Boyle | License: CC BY-NC 2.0 as on 8/28/17
9.Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mjmyap/16665933627/in/photostream/
Author: Melvin Yap | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 as on 8/28/17
Current topic in Birds of India: Common iora (Aegithina tiphia) photos.
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Sunday, August 27

Common iora

   ›      ›   Common iora - Aegithina tiphia

The common iora (Aegithina tiphia) belongs to the family of ioras, Aegithinidae.

The common iora species are distributed in Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia and south China. These iora species are brightly colored small passerine birds. These ioras are polytypic species.

Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Common Iora Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Common iora - Overview

  • Scientific name: Aegithina tiphia
  • Species author: (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Motacilla Tiphia Linnaeus, 1758
  • Family: Aegithinidae › Passeriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Common iora, Chinese: 黑翅雀鹎, French: Petit Iora, German: Garteniora, Spanish: Iora común, Russian: Чернокрылая йора, Japanese: ヒメコノハドリ, Indonesian: Burung Cipoh Kacat
  • Other names: Black-winged Iora, Small Iora
  • Distribution: Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia, southern China
  • Diet and feeding habits: insects
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)

Appearance, physical description and identification

The common iora (Aegithina tiphia) is a small bird, measuring 12 to 13 cm in length and weighing 12 to 17 grams.

These common iora species are sexually dimorphic, the males being slightly larger and having bright breeding plumage. There is large variation in the plumage color among the subspecies.

The male iora has black wing and black tail. The breeding male had a black cap and black back. The females have greenish wings and olive tail. The underparts are yellow in both male and female. There are two white bars on the wings.

The bill is pointed and notched with a straight culmen. The irises are blackish in males and pale yellow in females. The feet are grayish.

The call of these common iora species is a mixture of churrs and a trilled "wheee-tee" sound. These birds are known to imitate the calls of other species of birds.
Indian birds - Picture of Common iora - Aegithina tiphia
1.Birds of India - Image of Common iora - Aegithina tiphia by Doug Janson

Birds of India - Photo of Common iora - Aegithina tiphia
2.Indian birds - Picture of Common iora - Aegithina tiphia by Soumyajit Nandy

Indian birds - Image of Common iora - Aegithina tiphia
3.Birds of India - Photo of Common iora - Aegithina tiphia by Doug Janson

Origin, geographical range and distribution

The common iora species are distributed in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, south China, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia and Philippines.

In India, except for the arid regions, these common iora species are distributed in all the states. In China, they are distributed in the province of Yunnan.

The common iora nominate subspecies A. t. tiphia is distributed in foot of Himalayas in India (Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura and Mizoram), Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and west Myanmar.

The common iora subspecies A. t. septentrionalis is distributed in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. The subspecies A. t. multicolor is distributed in southern India (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, TamilNadu and Kerala) and Sri Lanka.

The iora subspecies A. t. humei is distributed in central India (Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and West Bengal).

The common iora subspecies A. t. philipi is distributed in east Myanmar, north and central Thailand, north Laos and north Vietnam and south China (Yunnan). The subspecies A. t. deignani is distributed in northern Myanmar.

The common iora subspecies A. t. horizoptera is distributed in southern Myanmar, central and southern Thailand, Malaysian Peninsula, Singapore and Indonesia (Sumatra).

The iora subspecies A. t. cambodiana is distributed in southeast Thailand, Cambodia, south Laos and south Vietnam. The subspecies A. t. aequanimis is distributed in Philippines (Palawan) and north Borneo (Malaysia and Brunei).

The common iora subspecies A. t. viridis is distributed in southern Borneo (Indonesia). The subspecies A. t. scapularis is distributed in Indonesia (Java and Bali).

Ecosystem and habitat

These common iora species have moderate forest dependence. These species normally occur in altitudes from 0 to 2000 meters.

The artificial ecosystems and habitats of these species include plantations, rural gardens, urban parks and heavily degraded forests.

The natural ecosystems of these species include tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests, evergreen forests, mangrove forests, open wooded country, moist montane forests and tropical swamps.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of the common iora consists mainly of insects and spiders. Crickets, spiders, locust, grasshoppers, dragonflies, moths, mantids, stick insects, worms, grubs, termites, ants and beetles are their primary food.

These species glean insects from foliage and also from trunk and branches. In rare occasions, they hawk flying insects.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of the common iora species is from January to September in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.

The male common ioras make courtship displays by darting up into the air, fluffing up all feathers and spiralling down to the perch.

These species are monogamous. The breeding pair build a compact, shallow cup-shaped nest on a fork of a tree. The nest is a shallow saucer of interwoven grass, cobwebs and fibres.

The typical clutch contains two to four pale green eggs with pinkish speckles. The male incubates during the day and the female incubates during the night. The chicks hatch out in 14 days. Both parents brood the chicks and also feed them.

Migration and movement patterns

These common iora species are non-migrant resident birds. Nomadic movements have been observed due to weather conditions and abundance of food.

Post breeding, the juvenile ioras may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding within their range.

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the common iora (Aegithina tiphia) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of these species is unknown.

Throughout its range this iora species is reported to be common. The generation length is 4.8 years. Its distribution size is about 14,900,000 sq.km.

Habitat degradation and fragmentation, decline in insect populations due to indiscriminate use of pesticides are the main threats that may endanger the survival of these iora species.

IUCN and CITES status

The common iora (Aegithina tiphia) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable, either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the iora species and has listed it as of "Least Concern". The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for common iora (Aegithina tiphia).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Aegithina tiphia
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Passeriformes
Family:Aegithinidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Aegithina
Species:A. tiphia
Binomial name:Aegithina tiphia
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
The eleven recognized subspecies of the common iora (Aegithina tiphia) are: A. t. tiphia, A. t. scapularis, A. t. septentrionalis, A. t. viridis, A. t. humei, A. t. aequanimis, A. t. multicolor, A. t. cambodiana, A. t. philipi, A. t. horizoptera and A. t. deignani.
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1.Photo source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aegithina_tiphia-20080910.jpg (cropped)
Photo author: Doug Janson | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
2.Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Common_Iora_in_Sundarban.jpg (cropped)
Photo author: Soumyajit Nandy | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
3.Photo source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aegithina_tiphia-20080910B.jpg (cropped)
Photo author: Doug Janson | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
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Saturday, August 26

Ashy woodswallow

   ›      ›   Ashy woodswallow - Artamus fuscus

The ashy woodswallow (Artamus fuscus) belongs to the family of currawongs, butcherbirds and woodswallows, Artamidae.

The ashy woodswallow species are distributed in Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia and south and southeast China. These woodswallow species have an exclusively Asian distribution. These woodswallows are monotypic species.

Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Ashy Woodswallow Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Ashy woodswallow - Overview

  • Scientific name: Artamus fuscus
  • Species author: Vieillot, 1817
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Artamus fuscus Vieillot, 1817
  • Family: Artamidae › Passeriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Ashy woodswallow, Chinese: 灰燕鵙, French: Langrayen brun, German: Grauschwalbenstar, Spanish: Artamo ceniciento, Russian: Пепельный ласточковый сорокопут, Japanese: ハイイロモリツバメ
  • Other names: Ashy Woodswallow, Ashy Swallow-shrike
  • Distribution: Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia, south and southeast China
  • Diet and feeding habits: insects, flying insects
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)

Appearance, physical description and identification

The ashy woodswallow (Artamus fuscus) is a medium-sized woodswallow, measuring 20 cm in length and weighing 35 to 40 grams.

The ashy woodswallow has dark slaty gray head with dark mask. The upperparts are ashy gray. The mantle has a maroon tinge. There is a narrow pale band on the rump. The underparts are pale pinkish gray.

The wings of the woodswallow are long and in flight appear very broad at the base. The first primary feather is very short. In a resting bird, the folded wings extend beyond the tail.

The tail of the woodswallow is short and square. The tail feathers are slaty black and are tipped white. The undertail and underwings are pale gray.

The bill is short, stout and finch-like. The bill is slightly curved and silvery blue in color. The irises are blackish brown. The gray legs are very short. The call of these woodswallow species is a repeated "chee-chee-chee" or harsh, shrill nasal "chewk..chewk" sound.
Indian birds - Picture of Ashy woodswallow - Artamus fuscus
1.Birds of India - Image of Ashy woodswallow - Artamus fuscus by Francesco Veronesi

Birds of India - Photo of Ashy woodswallow - Artamus fuscus
2.Indian birds - Picture of Ashy woodswallow - Artamus fuscus by 孫鋒 林

Indian birds - Image of Ashy woodswallow - Artamus fuscus
3.Birds of India - Photo of Ashy woodswallow - Artamus fuscus by J.M.Garg

Origin, geographical range and distribution

The ashy woodswallow species are distributed in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and south and southeastern China.

In India, except for the state of Jammu and Kashmir, these woodswallow species occur in all the states. In China, they are distributed in the provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi, Hainan, Guangdong and Fujian.

The Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) of the ashy woodswallow species in Laos are Attapu Plain, Xe Sap, Eastern Bolikhamxay Mountains, Upper Xe Kaman, Nam Et, Upper Xe Bangfai and Phou Loeuy. The IBA in Cambodia is Boeung Veal Samnap.

The IBA of these ashy woodswallows in Nepal are, Barandabhar forests and wetlands, Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve, Bardia National Park, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and Koshi Barrage, Chitwan National Park, Dang Deukhuri foothill forests and west Rapti wetlands.

Ecosystem and habitat

These ashy woodswallow species have low forest dependence. These species normally occur in altitudes from 0 to 2000 meters.

The artificial ecosystems and habitats of these species include cultivated fields, pasturelands, palm groves and heavily degraded forests.

The natural ecosystems of these ashy woodswallow species include tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests, evergreen forests, tropical and subtropical dry forests, open wooded country, moist montane forests and dry savanna.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of the ashy woodswallow consists mainly of insects. Crickets, locust, grasshoppers, dragonflies, moths, mantids, stick insects, worms, grubs, airborne termites and ants and beetles are their primary food.

These ashy woodswallow may sit huddled side-by-side in groups on high vantage points and hawk flying insects in the air. They can glean insects from foliage and from trunk and branches. They also fly in circles in search prey.

In flight, these woodswallows catch the prey with bill, transferring it to the feet, tear it up before swallowing. They may also return to the perch with prey to feed.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of the ashy woodswallow species is from March to July in India and Nepal. The laying season in Sri Lanka is from February to June.

These ashy woodswallows are monogamous and are strongly territorial. The breeding pair build a loose, shallow cup-shaped nest on a fork of a tree or at the base of the frond of a tall palm.

The nest is a shallow saucer of interwoven moss, cobwebs, fibres, rootlets and pieces of bark. The typical clutch contains three pale green eggs with brown spotting. Both the parents take turns to incubate the eggs.

The ashy woodswallow parents feed the young with worms and insects. The nestlings are entirely altricial, being naked and blind, requiring continuous parental care.

Migration and movement patterns

These ashy woodswallow species are generally resident birds. Nomadic movements have been observed due to weather conditions and abundance of food.

Post breeding, the juvenile woodswallows may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding within their range.

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the ashy woodswallow (Artamus fuscus) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of these species is reported to be stable.

Throughout its range this woodswallow species is reported to be common to uncommon. The generation length is 5 years. Its distribution size is about 9,310,000 sq.km.

Habitat degradation and fragmentation, decline in insect populations due to indiscriminate use of pesticides are the main threats that may endanger the survival of these woodswallow species.

IUCN and CITES status

The ashy woodswallow (Artamus fuscus) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable, either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the woodswallow species and has listed it as of "Least Concern". The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for ashy woodswallow (Artamus fuscus).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Artamus fuscus
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Passeriformes
Family:Artamidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Artamus
Species:A. fuscus
Binomial name:Artamus fuscus
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
There are no geographic variations in the plumage of the ashy woodswallow (Artamus fuscus) and no subspecies have been designated.
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1.Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/francesco_veronesi/19543245223/ (cropped)
Image author: Francesco Veronesi | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 8/26/17
2.Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/outdoor_birding/24623003682/in/photostream/ (cropped)
Image author: 孫鋒 林 | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 8/26/17
3.Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ashy_Woodswallow_(Artamus_fuscus)_in_Hyderabad,_AP_W_IMG_7506.jpg (cropped)
Image author: J.M.Garg | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Current topic in Birds of India: Ashy woodswallow - Artamus fuscus.
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