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Greater Racket-tailed Drongo

From Opus

(Redirected from Dicrurus paradiseus)

Alternative names: Greater Racquet-tailed Drongo; Large Racquet-tailed Drongo

Photo © by the late Laurence PohBang Pra Non-hunting Area, Thailand
Photo © by the late Laurence Poh
Bang Pra Non-hunting Area, Thailand
Dicrurus paradiseus

Contents

[edit] Identification

Suspecies D. p. grandisPhoto © by Alok TewariPilibhit Tiger Reserve, U.P. Terai, India, Jan-2015
Suspecies D. p. grandis
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, U.P. Terai, India, Jan-2015

30 - 65cm (11¾-25½ in), depending on tail length.

  • Black plumage with metallic blue or greenish-blue gloss
  • Arching, helmet-like crest
  • Notched tail with long, whorled rackets (sometimes damaged or missing)
  • Blood-red eye

Sexes similar.
Immatures are browner, less glossy, have a brown eye and a shorter tail with smaller tail-rackets.

[edit] Variation

There is no crest in birds from Borneo. Additional variation described under each subspecies.

[edit] Similar species

Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo has a rounded tail with flat rackets and a distinctly flat-headed appearance.

[edit] Distribution

ssp brachyphorusPhoto © by horukuruSepilok, Sabah, Borneo, October 2009
ssp brachyphorus
Photo © by horukuru
Sepilok, Sabah, Borneo, October 2009

Found in the Himalayas from North India east to Nepal, Bhutan, southern China (Tibet, Yunnan, Hainan); on the Indian Subcontinent, Sri Lanka, Burma, Indochina and south to Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Bali and Borneo.
Common in parts of its range. Rare on Hainan.

[edit] Taxonomy

Has been placed in the genus Dissemuroides in the past.

Sri Lanka Drongo D. lophorinus has been split from this species.

[edit] Subspecies

Malaysian subspeciesPhoto © by KayesPenang, Malaysia, June 2018
Malaysian subspecies
Photo © by Kayes
Penang, Malaysia, June 2018

There are 13 subspecies[1]:

  • largest of all subspecies
  • with a very large crest and large and sharply defined breast spangles
  • crest more upward curving
  • well-defined spangles on breast
  • D. p. platurus: Southern Malaysia, Sumatra and adjacent north-western islands
  • similar to hypoballus but with a bushy tuft rather than a short crest
  • similar to nominate but smaller
  • like rangoonensis but without crest
  • similar to nominate but with smaller tail-racket
  • D. p. banguey: Islands off north Borneo
  • similar to brachyphorus but with longer wings
  • smallest subspecies, no crest, rackets often missing or abnormal developed
  • D. p. microlophus: North Natuna Islands
  • often with a short bushy tuft
  • very small, short crest curving backwards on to crown, long tail-rackets

[edit] Habitat

Forest , forest edges, plantations, wooded gardens. Occurs up to 1500m in India.

[edit] Behaviour

If territorial, is aggressive and will mob intruders, even large raptors and hornbills.

[edit] Diet

Found usually in the middle storey. Like most drongos, hawks after insects from open perches.

[edit] Breeding

Breeding season mainly from April to July. Pairs apparently stay together their whole lives. The nest is a small cradle made of fine twigs, rootlets, grass stems and other vegetable fibres. It's placed 5 - 15m above the ground in a tree. Lays usually 3 eggs. Brood parasitism by Indian Cuckoo reported.

[edit] Vocalisation

A superb mimic of the calls of other birds but always has a metallic sound.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507
  3. Rasmussen, PC and JC Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334672
  4. Birdforum thread including discussion of this species in Borneo

[edit] External Links

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