The Fiji Woodswallow is resident and only performs some local wandering.
The flight is fast when pursuing a prey, but it also soars and glides extensively. It is a good flier. It often performs short glides interspersed with rapid wingbeats. The flight is fast and very agile.   

The breeding season takes place between August and November. The Fiji Woodswallow is a co-operative breeder and the group often includes 5-6 individuals.
The cup-shaped nest is built by the group. It is made with twigs and grass stems. It is usually built in tree fork in the canopy. However, this species may sometimes nest in a cavity on cliff.
The female lays 2-3 eggs and all members of the group share both incubation and chick rearing. The duration of incubation and nesting periods is unknown.

The Fiji Woodswallow is described as locally common. It is affected by early loss of the moist lowland forest and savannahs, but it is now adapted to cultivated areas and other human-altered habitats.
The population is estimated to be declining with disappearance of the present species from several islands.
But currently, the Fiji Woodswallow is evaluated as Least Concern.  

Fr: Langrayen des Fidji
Ang: Fiji Woodswallow
All: Fidschischwalbenstar
Esp: Artamo de las Fiyi
Ita: Rondine boschereccia delle Figi
Nd: Fijispitsvogel
Sd: fijisvalstare


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Fiji Woodswallow
Artamus mentalis

Passeriformes Order – Artamidae Family

The Fiji Woodswallow is endemic to Fiji Islands and occurs on most of the islands where it frequents tropical moist lowland forests and savannahs.
The species is affected by habitat loss, but it appears to be now adapted to human-altered habitats.
The population is declining, but the species is not currently threatened.  

Length: 17 cm
Weight: 33-48 g

The Fiji Woodswallow has black upperparts except for white rump and uppertail-coverts. The black tail is tipped white.
The underparts are white, including the underwings.
The head is black, including chin and upperthroat. The white of the underparts extends to central ear-coverts, forming a partial collar on the foreneck.
The stout bill is pale blue-grey. The eyes are dark brown. Legs and feet are blue-grey.  
Male and female are similar.
The juvenile resembles adult, but it has pale-edged feathers on the upperparts.

The Fiji Woodswallow is found in W and N Fiji Islands, and occurs on several islands such as Yasawa group, Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Gau and Kadavu. It was formerly on Koro, Yasayamoala and N Lau Group.

The Fiji Woodswallow frequents tropical moist lowland forests and savannahs, but now, it is well-adapted to human-altered habitats and it also occurs in cultivated areas. Some populations are established in urban environment in Suva and Nadi. It can be found in the highlands on Viti Levu.

The most common call of the Fiji Woodswallow is a chattering sound. The alarm call is a metallic “wit-wit-wit”.
The song includes soft whistles and chuckles.

The Fiji Woodswallow feeds on both flying and terrestrial insects including moths, butterflies, dragonflies and grasshoppers.
It hunts by hawking, sitting on prominent perch and sallying to catch a flying prey. It usually hunts in the open, but some prey are also taken near the ground, although it rarely lands to seize them. It also hunts over flowering plants where it can find numerous insects.  
The smaller prey are swallowed whole, whereas the larger items are dismembered on a perch. The bird holds the prey with a foot and uses its bill to peck it apart.

The Fiji Woodswallow often breeds co-operatively, and groups of 5-6 individuals are common. They share all the nesting duties. Some studies suggest that more than a simple pair of adults is part of the group, and copulation has been recorded between different members of a group. They become aggressive towards intruders approaching the nest.
The copulation follows some displays during which both mates perform wing-waving while the tail is spread and moving.
They usually rest and roost in flocks. Mutual preening is observed at roost.