Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Ashy woodswallow

Thai: นกแอ่นพง, nok aen phong

Binomial name: Artamus fuscus, Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot, 1817

The ashy woodswallow (Artamus fuscus) sometimes also called the ashy swallow-shrike is a woodswallow which is found in south Asia. Like other woodswallows, it has a short curve bill and a short square tail and long wings. It is usually seen perched in groups, high on powerlines, tall bare trees and most often in areas with a predominance of tall palm trees.

Description

This stocky woodswallow has an ashy grey upperparts with a darker head and a narrow pale band on the rump. The underside is pinkish grey and the short slaty black tail is tipped in white. The finch-like bill is silvery. In flight the long wing looks very broad at the base giving it a very triangular outline. The first primary is very short. The legs are short and the birds usually perch on high vantage points from which they make aerial sallies. There are no geographic variations in plumage and no subspecies have been designated.

Males and females are indistinguishable in the field, however an old report suggests that the sexes differ in the colour of the inside of the mouth. Young birds appear barred on the underside.

Habitat and distribution

Woodswallows are found in a range of habitats from the plains to about 2000 m, over cultivated areas, in forest clearings and often in areas with tall palm trees. The species is widely distributed across India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Laos, Malaysia and China. They are absent in the very arid regions of western India. They have been recorded on the island of Maldives.

Behaviour and ecology

Ashy woodswallows are usually seen in small groups. Several birds may sit huddled side-by-side on the bare branches of a tall tree or on high vantage points such as powerlines and pylons. From their perches, they make aerial sallies, flapping and gliding to capture insects in the air. Insects may be caught in the beak, transferred and held in their feet, torn up with their bill and swallowed without returning to the perch. They may also return to the perch with prey to feed and will sometimes sit on the ground and have been known to visit bird baths. Although mainly feeding on insects, they may take nectar from flowers of trees such as Erythrina. They have been recorded feeding on toxic butterflies of the family Danaiidae such as Euploea core which are avoided by other birds.

The breeding season in India is March to June, the nest is a shallow cup placed at some height such as at the base of the frond of a tall palm or a hollow atop a street lighting post. The usual clutch consists of 2–3 greenish white eggs with brown spots. Both parents take part in nest building, incubation and feeding the young. They will mob larger birds such as crows and birds of prey that approach too close to the nesting birds. The song consists of a varied combination of wheezy notes that may include imitations of the calls of other birds. The usual call is shrill nasal chewk.

They make seasonal movements, possibly in response to rainfall.

The woodswallows, Artamidae, are among the few perching birds that have special feathers called powder down that break up into fine dust that is spread by the birds onto their body when preening. Powder down is also found in the egrets. Members of the family have a brush-tipped tongue. They also have some of the thoracic vertebrae fused into a structure called the notarium.

A species of ectoparasitic birdlouse, Menacanthus elbeli, and a mite that lives inside the feather quill have been described from hosts of this species. Other organisms associated with the species include endoparasitic trematodes Plagiorchis dactylopharynx, Papillatrema echinata and Stomylotrema travassosi.

This article uses material from Wikipedia released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike Licence 3.0. Eventual photos shown in this page may or may not be from Wikipedia, please see the license details for photos in photo by-lines.

Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Passeriformes
Family
Artamidae
Genus
Artamus
Species
Artamus fuscus

Common names

  • Thai: นกแอ่นพง, nok aen phong

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Ashy Woodswallow (Artamus fuscus) preening at Jayanti, Duars, West Bengal W IMG 5287

Ashy Woodswallow (Artamus fuscus) preening at Jayanti, Duars, West Bengal W IMG 5287

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

Distribution map of Ashy woodswallow, Artamus fuscus in Thailand
  • Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram
  • Aranyaprathet District, Sa Kaeo
  • Ban Bueng District, Chonburi
  • Ban Chang District, Rayong
  • Ban Hong Non-hunting Area
  • Ban Laem District, Phetchaburi
  • Ban Lat District, Phetchaburi
  • Ban Phai District, Khon Kaen
  • Ban Phraek District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Ban District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Kruai District, Nonthaburi
  • Bang Lamung District, Chonburi
  • Bang Pa In District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Pahan District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Phra Non-hunting Area
  • Bang Pu Recreation Centre
  • Bang Saphan Noi District, Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Bangkok Province
  • Borabue District, Maha Sarakham
  • Bueng Boraped Non-hunting Area
  • Bueng Khong Long Non-hunting Area
  • Chae Son National Park
  • Chaiyo District, Ang Thong
  • Chaloem Phra Kiat District, Saraburi
  • Chaloem Phrakiat Thai Prachan National Park
  • Chaloem Rattanakosin National Park
  • Chatturat District, Chaiyaphum
  • Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Chiang Khong District, Chiang Rai
  • Chiang Saen District, Chiang Rai
  • Chum Ta Bong District, Nakhon Sawan
  • Doi Chong National Park
  • Doi Inthanon National Park
  • Doi Khun Tan National Park
  • Doi Lo District, Chiang Mai
  • Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park
  • Doi Saket District, Chiang Mai
  • Doi Suthep-Pui National Park
  • Doi Tao District, Chiang Mai
  • Erawan National Park
  • Fang District, Chiang Mai
  • Hang Chat District, Lampang
  • Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Huai Chorakhe Mak Reservoir Non-hunting Area
  • Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Huai Nam Dang National Park
  • Huai Talat Reservoir Non-hunting Area
  • In Buri District, Sing Buri
  • Kabin Buri District, Prachinburi
  • Kaeng Khoi District, Saraburi
  • Kaeng Khro District, Chaiyaphum
  • Kaeng Krachan District, Phetchaburi
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
  • Kamphaeng Saen District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Kanthararom District, Sisaket
  • Kantharawichai District, Maha Sarakham
  • Kaset Sombun District, Chaiyaphum
  • Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Chamao - Khao Wong National Park
  • Khao Khiao - Khao Chomphu Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Khitchakut National Park
  • Khao Kradong Forest Park
  • Khao Laem National Park
  • Khao Nang Panthurat Forest Park
  • Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
  • Khao Sanam Prieng Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Yai National Park
  • Khao Yoi District, Phetchaburi
  • Khlong Lan National Park
  • Khlong Luang District, Pathum Thani
  • Khlong Wang Chao National Park
  • Khon San District, Chaiyaphum
  • Khun Chae National Park
  • Khun Tan District, Chiang Rai
  • Khung Kraben Non-hunting Area
  • Klaeng District, Rayong
  • Ko Sichang District, Chonburi
  • Kui Buri National Park
  • Kumphawapi District, Udon Thani
  • Laem Pak Bia
  • Lam Nam Kok National Park
  • Mae Ai District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Chan District, Chiang Rai
  • Mae Fa Luang District, Chiang Rai
  • Mae Mo District, Lampang
  • Mae Ping National Park
  • Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Sai District, Chiang Rai
  • Mae Sot District, Tak
  • Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Tha, Lampang District, Lampang
  • Mae Wong National Park
  • Mueang Buriram District, Buriram
  • Mueang Chaiyaphum District, Chaiyaphum
  • Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai
  • Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai
  • Mueang Chonburi District, Chonburi
  • Mueang Kanchanaburi District, Kanchanaburi
  • Mueang Khon Kaen District, Khon Kaen
  • Mueang Lampang District, Lampang
  • Mueang Lamphun District, Lamphun
  • Mueang Lopburi District, Lopburi
  • Mueang Maha Sarakham District, Maha Sarakham
  • Mueang Nakhon Nayok District, Nakhon Nayok
  • Mueang Nakhon Pathom District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Mueang Nan District, Nan
  • Mueang Nong Khai District, Nong Khai
  • Mueang Nonthaburi District, Nonthaburi
  • Mueang Pathum Thani District, Pathum Thani
  • Mueang Phayao District, Phayao
  • Mueang Phetchabun District, Phetchabun
  • Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi
  • Mueang Phitsanulok District, Phitsanulok
  • Mueang Prachinburi District, Prachinburi
  • Mueang Ratchaburi District, Ratchaburi
  • Mueang Rayong District, Rayong
  • Mueang Sa Kaeo District, Sa Kaeo
  • Mueang Samut Sakhon District, Samut Sakhon
  • Mueang Samut Songkhram District, Samut Songkhram
  • Mueang Saraburi District, Saraburi
  • Mueang Sisaket District, Sisaket
  • Mueang Sukhothai District, Sukhothai
  • Mueang Suphanburi District, Suphan Buri
  • Mueang Surin District, Surin
  • Mueang Tak District, Tak
  • Mueang Trat District, Trat
  • Mueang Udon Thani District, Udon Thani
  • Mueang Uttaradit District, Uttaradit
  • Nam Nao National Park
  • Nam Phong National Park
  • Namtok Sam Lan National Park
  • Non Din Daeng District, Buriram
  • Nong Bong Khai Non-hunting Area
  • Nong Han Lake
  • Nong Song Hong District, Khon Kaen
  • Nong Ya Plong District, Phetchaburi
  • Ob Khan National Park
  • Pa Sak Chonlasit Dam Non-hunting Area
  • Pa Sang District, Lamphun
  • Pachee River Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Pai District, Mae Hong Son
  • Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Pak Kret District, Nonthaburi
  • Pak Phli District, Nakhon Nayok
  • Pak Thale
  • Pak Tho District, Ratchaburi
  • Pak Thong Chai District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Pang Sida National Park
  • Pang Sila Thong District, Kamphaeng Phet
  • Pha Daeng National Park
  • Pha Hin Ngam National Park
  • Phaisali District, Nakhon Sawan
  • Phan District, Chiang Rai
  • Phanat Nikhom District, Chonburi
  • Phatthana Nikhom District, Lopburi
  • Phayuha Khiri District, Nakhon Sawan
  • Phimai District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Pho Prathap Chang District, Phichit
  • Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Phu Chi Fa Forest Park
  • Phu Foi Lom National Park
  • Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park
  • Phu Khiao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Phu Pha Thoep National Park
  • Phu Soi Dao National Park
  • Phu Suan Sai National Park
  • Phu Wiang National Park
  • Phutthamonthon District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Pran Buri District, Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Pran Buri Forest Park
  • Ramkhamhaeng National Park
  • Ratchasan District, Chachoengsao
  • Sai Noi District, Nonthaburi
  • Sai Yok District, Kanchanaburi
  • Sai Yok National Park
  • Sakaerat Environmental Research Station
  • Salak Pra Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Salawin National Park
  • Samae San Island
  • Samut Prakan Province
  • San Sai District, Chiang Mai
  • Sanam Bin Reservoir Non-hunting Area
  • Sanam Chai Khet District, Chachoengsao
  • Santi Suk District, Nan
  • Sattahip District, Chonburi
  • Si Maha Phot District, Prachinburi
  • Si Racha District, Chonburi
  • Si Satchanalai District, Sukhothai
  • Si Sawat District, Kanchanaburi
  • Sop Prap District, Lampang
  • Sri Nakarin Dam National Park
  • Ta Phraya National Park
  • Taksin Maharat National Park
  • Taphan Hin District, Phichit
  • Tat Mok National Park
  • Tha Chang District, Sing Buri
  • Tha Takiap District, Chachoengsao
  • Tha Yang District, Phetchaburi
  • Tham Sakoen National Park
  • Thanyaburi District, Pathum Thani
  • Thao Kosa Forest Park
  • Thap Lan National Park
  • Thap Than District, Uthai Thani
  • Thawat Buri District, Roi Et
  • Thong Pha Phum National Park
  • Thung Salaeng Luang National Park
  • Wang Chan District, Rayong
  • Wang Nam Yen District, Sa Kaeo
  • Wang Noi District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Wapi Pathum District, Maha Sarakham
  • Wat Phai Lom & Wat Ampu Wararam Non-hunting Area
  • Wat Tham Erawan Non-hunting Area
  • Watthana Nakhon District, Sa Kaeo
  • Wiang Chai District, Chiang Rai
  • Wiang Kaen District, Chiang Rai

Range map of Artamus fuscus in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

Contribute or get help with ID

Please help us improving our species range maps. To add a new location to the range map we need a clear image of the specimen you have encountered. No problem if you do not know the species, we will do our best to identify it for you.

For the location, please provide the district name or the national park/ wildlife sanctuary name.

Please post your images to our Thai Species Identification Help group on Facebook.