Birda Logo
A photo of a Dusky Woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus)
Dusky Woodswallow

Dusky Woodswallow

Artamus cyanopterus

The dusky woodswallow, Artamus cyanopterus, presents a medium-sized, swallow-like silhouette adorned with a dark brown plumage that may sometimes appear grey. A distinctive black patch is noted before the eyes, and the wings are grey, occasionally black, with white streaks. The tail is black with a white tip, and the underwing shimmers silver. A blue-grey bill, tipped with black, completes their visage.

Identification Tips

Look for the dusky woodswallow's fervent tail 'wagging' or swiveling, a behavior shared with its woodswallow kin. The species can be distinguished by a unique white patch on the outer wing and a more smoky brown coloration compared to other woodswallows.


These birds favor open eucalyptus forests and woodlands, where they roost communally, often nocturnally, and in large flocks during the breeding season for added protection against predators.


The dusky woodswallow's range extends from the Atherton Tableland in Queensland, down to Tasmania, and west to the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.


As nomadic birds, dusky woodswallows exhibit spontaneous movements, with south-eastern populations migrating northward in Autumn. They communicate with a variety of chattering calls, including a harsh mobbing call to alert others of predators or intruders.

Song & Calls

The dusky woodswallow's vocal repertoire includes various chattering sounds, with a particularly harsh call used for mobbing predators.


Nests are artfully constructed from twigs, roots, and foliage into a bowl shape, lined with grass, and are often positioned behind bark or high in a tree branch. The breeding season spans from August to January, with the female laying up to four white eggs. Incubation lasts for sixteen days, and fledglings take a similar time to mature.

Similar Species

The little woodswallow shares a smoky brown hue with the dusky woodswallow but lacks the distinctive white patch on the outer wing.

Diet and Feeding

Dusky woodswallows have a varied diet, consuming foliage, grassy material, termites, butterflies, other insects, and nectar from flowers. They exhibit aerial hunting prowess, capturing flying insects on the wing, and also feed on the ground, often from inconspicuous perches.

Conservation status

With a broad range and an unquantified but presumed common population, the dusky woodswallow is classified as 'Least Concern' on the IUCN Red List.

App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Dusky Woodswallows on Birda


More Woodswallows, Butcherbirds & Allies

A photo of a Black-faced Woodswallow (Artamus cinereus)

Black-faced Woodswallow

Artamus cinereus
Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Carl B
Helped me to identify more birds
Love this app and has helped me to identify more birds. The challenges and badges are great for keeping the motivation going to get out and keep birding.
Safira V
Birding and wellbeing app
Birda is an excellent platform to share your love of Birding and is a great tool of encouragement for a Birding Beginner like me. Birda has a very kind and supportive community of Birding enthusiasts. For me BIRDA is not only a BIRDING but also a WELLBEING App.
Paul F
Very good database
Highly recommend. It great that this app shows you male Vs female variations when posting. Very good database I'm really impressed.
We've been waiting for an App like this
Excellent! We've been waiting for an app like this! Thank you! It would be nice if you could assign additional birds to sessions later!
Louise L
Easy to use and accurate
Love this app. It is easy to use and accurate, Their backup communication is really good. I noted a missing species. All through the process, I was kept informed about the progress in correcting the information. I now have the corrected, updated version. 😁 Thanks!
A Friendly Place
I love using the bird app, I have a pretty good knowledge of birds. But I do have some gaps in it, so it’s nice to have a safe space to check on a sighting to confirm the species. It’s really enjoyable and I love the badges you can collect. It’s like a real life PokΓ©mon go.
Jane N
A great app
Enjoying it immensely and finding it useful too. Recording the different birds and counting them is showing me how the present climate is affecting them all. I've trebled the numbers by planting native hedging. A great app.
Amylia S
Best app for any birding person!
I love this app!! I am so addicted to it when I saw it had 3 star review I was so sad! The app is awesome!! The best app for any birding person! ❀️
Dan R
Great app for bird fanatics
Great app for bird fanatics - very user friendly and a perfect place to share sightings.
Bryan C
Clean and easy to use
Really enjoying this app, it's clean and easy to use. I love the ease of being able to add those one-off birds without starting a whole checklist. I also like the social aspect, like the parts of my Facebook I like, without the ads and junk, just birds. Can't wait to see it become more populated.
As featured in
Connect with nature,
Find your flock
Download Birda - QR Code
Β© 2024 All rights reserved