Perching behaviour of White-breasted Woodswallow

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“White-breasted Woodswallows (Artamus leucorynchus leucorynchus) are much more common in East Malaysia (west cost of island of Borneo), especially so in the north of the island. In the Kuching city area there were a few but more so when we went to the outskirts. I had a good friend take me out to watch birds.

“[The pictures above show] their typical behaviour of sitting together on an electrical wire, close together for warmth or company (it was a cold and misty morning) (see Smythies, 1999). This group were busy preening and seemed to manage despite the proximity. Front and back views, showing the white breasts and white rumps.
Can also appreciate their pale blue bills, with better lighting from rear.

“This [picture above-left] shows another typical behaviour of chasing away any other species that comes near to them (see Smythies, 1999). This group of five chased away an adult male Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris microrhinus) when it was foraging in the tree they had roosted in. They swooped down to buzz it twice. (Disclosure: The picture showing this activity is a composite of two images taken within 0.25 seconds of each other and stitched together.) Also a picture in flight (above right) – they are very graceful fliers and glide very well.”

Dato Dr Amar-Singh HSS & Dr Chin Saw Sian
20km Kuching to Borneo Highland Road, Sarawak, Malaysia
1st October 2010

Reference:
Smythies, B. E., 1999. Birds of Borneo. Natural History Publications & The Sabah Society, Kota Kinabalu. (4th ed., revised).

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