Family Woodswallows and Butcherbirds (Artamidae)

Least Concern

Ashy Woodswallow (Artamus fuscus)


French: Langrayen brun German: Grauschwalbenstar Spanish: Artamo ceniciento

Artamus fuscus


, 1817,

Bengal, India




Most of Indian Subcontinent (S to Sri Lanka) E to Myanmar, S & SE China (including Hainan), Thailand (except S) and Indochina.

Descriptive notes

16–19 cm; 37–42 g. Has slate-grey head with darker mask (lores and area around eye), greyish-maroon mantle and pinkish-grey underparts; white-tipped tail with... read more


A frequently uttered wheezy "chee-chee-chee" or harsh nasal "chek"; also a long... read more


Open wooded country, often with palm trees, also cultivations, to c. 2100 m.

Food and feeding

Insectivorous. Obtains most of its prey in flight. Glides and circles in air in search of food items; also sallies from treetop or other... read more


Season Mar–Jul; laying Feb–Jun in Sri Lanka. Nest a shallow loose cup of rootlets and other fibrous material, placed up to c.... read more


Generally resident, with some local wandering dependent on weather conditions and abundance of food... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread, and fairly common to common over most of its range. Somewhat patchily distributed in W of range. Occurs in many protected... read more

Recommended citation

Rowley, I. & Russell, E. (2020). Ashy Woodswallow (Artamus fuscus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 27 February 2020).