Reproductive biology

Many species are opportunistic breeders, well adapted to an unpredictable environment, settling down to nest in loose

A dusky woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus) perches near its nest. (Photo by R. Drummond/VIREO. Reproduced by permission.)

colonies whenever rains come to arid areas. Nests are usually shallow, flimsy bowls of woven plant fibers including rootlets, twigs, and grass, placed in trees, shrubs, stumps, fence posts, or in rocky crevices. The usual clutch is two to four white eggs spotted or blotched with a variety of colors. Both parents incubate for 12-16 days. Fledging occurs 14-20 days later. Both parents and sometimes a helper feed the young.

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