Family Woodswallows and Butcherbirds (Artamidae)

Least Concern

Fiji Woodswallow (Artamus mentalis)


French: Langrayen des Fidji German: Fidschischwalbenstar Spanish: Artamo de las Fiyi

Artamus mentalis


, 1845,

Fiji Islands


Sometimes treated as conspecific with A. leucoryn, but differs in plumage and voice. Monotypic.


W & N Fiji Is: Yasawa Group, Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Gau and Kadavu (at least formerly also Koro, Yasayamoala and N Lau Group#R).

Descriptive notes

17 cm; 33–48 g. Head to chin, upperparts and wing are black, except for white rump and uppertail-coverts; tail black with white tip; underparts white, extending up over... read more


Commonest call a rapid chatter; alarm "wit-wit-wit", with metallic quality. Song, heard... read more


Open habitats, including cultivation and savanna, especially on drier sides of the larger islands;... read more

Food and feeding

Insectivorous. Impressive aerial forager, with fast pursuit-flight. Seizes prey in aerial sally launched from conspicuous perch;... read more


Season Aug–Nov, sometimes earlier. Often breeds co-operatively, in group of up to six individuals. Nest, built by all group-members,... read more


Resident, with some local wandering. Family group will remain for several years in and around a... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common. Apparently decreased in 20th century; in 1920, reported on various islands throughout Fiji except in S Lau Archipelago, but... read more

Recommended citation

Rowley, I. & Russell, E. (2020). Fiji Woodswallow (Artamus mentalis). 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 28 February 2020).