White-breasted Woodswallow

Listen to audio

Habitat: Woodland, Forest, Wetland


The White-breasted Woodswallow is found in eucalypt forests and woodlands, usually close to water, and in mangroves.


When perched, they often fan and twist their tails in a cork-screw fashion, especially just after alighting. They often launch from these perches, rapidly and gracefully flapping and gliding as they sally for flying insects. Insects are caught in the bill, but large ones are sometimes transferred to the bird’s feet while flying, before returning to a perch. They are partially migratory with birds in the south moving northwards in the cooler months.



The White-breasted Woodswallow feeds on insects, catching them on the wing. Will also forage on the ground or in canopy. Like other woodswallows, this species has a divided, brush-tipped tongue that can be used to feed on nectar from flowers.


The White-breasted Woodswallow builds a shallow, bowl-shaped nest from grasses, roots and twigs, lined with fine grass. The nest is placed in a tree fork, hollow stump or inside the abandoned nest of a Magpie-lark, 4 m – 30 m off the ground. Both sexes build the nest, incubate the eggs and feed the young.