white underparts; gray head; bluish bill; black eye (Australia; 2006-06-20)

White-breasted Wood Swallow
Artamus leucorynchus

Native Range: Australian Region

Notes: woodswallows (Artamidae with 10 species) are stocky gregarious birds that are agile fliers and capture insects on the wing; they have the distinctive habit of huddling together when perched, sometimes in groups of 20 or more birds packed densely together and often mutually preening; they tend to favor tall dead trees adjacent to open areas such as pastures or rivers; no sexual dimorphism.

ventral view; stocky and with a squarish tail (Australia; 2006-06-20)

side view; charcoal-gray upperparts (Australia; 2006-06-20)

25 birds packed tightly together on two limbs (Australia; 2006-06-20)

some of these birds are mutually preening (Australia; 2006-06-20)

enjoying one another's company on a sunny day (Australia; 2006-06-20)
close-up portrait (Zoo; 2013-05-29)