These sleek birds are streamlined for aerobatic flight. Head and shoulders glossy blue/ black, the lower back, wings and tail feathers are a dull dark brown/black. The forehead and throat are bright chestnut, the underparts are pale grey. When flying overhead, the long forked tail with small white spots near the tip, and long tapered wings, help to identify this bird.
They tend to feed in groups and can be seen wheeling, swooping and diving, catching insects in flight.
Build a mud cup, lined with grass and feathers, under cliff overhangs or in hollow tree branches. Around towns their nests are found under shop awnings, verandas, and bridges. Males share building and incubation.
Places to Look
Wetlands where they swoop down to dip their bills in the pools to drink. They are easiest to identify when perching on powerlines or sitting on wire fences.
- Coastal Birds of the Burdekin Dry Tropics
- Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club)
NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page.
This is a legacy website. Content is not being updated but is kept as an archive.
Updated NRM information is now held in the NQ Dry Tropics NRM Information Portal at http://nrm.nqdrytropics.com.au/.
while corporate information about NQ Dry Tropics is held on our main website at http://www.nqdrytropics.com.au