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Fork-tailed Drongo

From Opus

Alternative name: African Drongo

Photo by LeonRust de winter, Pretoria, South Africa, May 2004
Photo by Leon
Rust de winter, Pretoria, South Africa, May 2004
Dicrurus adsimilis


[edit] Identification

25 cm

  • Glossy black
  • Wings duller
  • Large head
  • Forked tail
  • Heavy black bill
  • Red eye
  • Short legs

Female similar but duller

[edit] Similar species

Differs from similar Velvet-mantled Drongo in having tail shorter than wing, a less deep tail fork, slightly less gloss and no pale rictal spot. Square-tailed Drongo and Shining Drongo are smaller and have a less forked tail.

ImmaturePhoto by Alan MansonCedara Farm, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, August 2007
Photo by Alan Manson
Cedara Farm, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, August 2007

[edit] Distribution

The Fork-tailed Drongo is a common and widespread resident breeder in Africa south of the Sahara with being most comon in Botswana, Zimbabwe and the northern parts of South Africa and Mozambique.

[edit] Taxonomy

Forms a superspecies with Black Drongo and is sometimes regarded conspecific.

[edit] Subspecies

Four subspecies recognized[1]:

[edit] Habitat

Hovering waiting for insects to be kicked up by the baby giraffePhoto by AHHKruger National Park, South Africa, July 2007
Hovering waiting for insects to be kicked up by the baby giraffe
Photo by AHH
Kruger National Park, South Africa, July 2007

Woodlands including riverine woodlands, moist and arid savanna, forest edges and grassland or fynbos with available perches, plantations of alien trees, gardens, farmyards and town parks.

[edit] Behaviour

Sits very upright whilst perched prominently, like a shrike.
An aggressive bird, which will attack much larger species, including birds of prey, snakes and humans, if their nest or young are threatened.

[edit] Diet

Their prey is taken aerially and on the ground, and includes flying insects, moths and bees; most often they will sit on a branch and sally out from there, but it may also be sitting on the ground. They are often seen taking prey disturbed by large animals or bush fires. They also often steal food from other birds, and have been known to steal food from suricates and Southern Pied Babblers by sounding false alarms.

[edit] Breeding

Monogamous, solitary nester building thin-walled, strongly woven cup nests in high tree-forks. Two to five eggs of highly varying colour.

[edit] Vocalisation

The call is a metallic strink-strink. They are also excellent mimics.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from
  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. Birdforum member observations
  4. Wikipedia

[edit] External Links


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