Physical characteristics

Woodswallows are swallow-like birds with pointed wings and short tails that forage mainly by soaring and sweeping up flying insects. They are mostly subtle combinations of gray, white, and black, with several species having russet tones as well. Most species have white-tipped tails.

Woodswallows are the only passerines that have powder down patches of feathers that disintegrate into a soft powder that the birds use in grooming feathers in a manner analogous to preen gland secretions in other passerines. They have pointed wings with a vestigial outermost primary, short toes, and weak-grasping feet.

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