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Spangled Drongo

From Opus

Photo by tcollinsDarwin, Australia, November 2006
Photo by tcollins
Darwin, Australia, November 2006
Dicrurus bracteatus


[edit] Identification

Male 30–32 cm (11¾-12½ in); female 28–30 cm (11-11¾ in)

  • Glossy black overall plumage
  • Iridescent blueish-green spots
  • Red eyes
  • Occasional white spotting can be seen on the upper wings
  • Long forked tail.

Sexes similar, female slightly smaller.
Young birds are more sooty black without the spangles and the eye is brown

[edit] Variations

Juvenile, note brown eyePhoto by MzunguSandy Camp Rd Wetlands, Queensland, Australia, May 2018
Juvenile, note brown eye
Photo by Mzungu
Sandy Camp Rd Wetlands, Queensland, Australia, May 2018

The different subspecies vary in size and in degree of gloss.

[edit] Distribution

Northern and eastern Australia, New Guinea and eastern Indonesia (Moluccas). Also in the Philippines if several subspecies are accepted to belong to this species (see taxonomy)
The only drongo in its range.
Common in most of its range. Some island subspecies under threat of habitat destruction.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

ssp striatus - Hair-crested Drongo, Spangled Drongo or another species?Photo by Mark BrucePICOP, Bislig, Mindanao Island, Philippines, January 2009
ssp striatus - Hair-crested Drongo, Spangled Drongo or another species?
Photo by Mark Bruce
PICOP, Bislig, Mindanao Island, Philippines, January 2009

Eleven to seventeen subspecies are recognized:[1],[2]

  • D. b. morotensis on Morotai (Indonesia)
  • D. b. atrocaeruleus on Halmahera, Bacan and West Papuan Islands (Indonesia)
  • D. b. buruensis on Buru (Indonesia)
  • D. b. amboinensis on Seram, Ambon, Haruku and Saparua (Indonesia)
  • D. b. carbonarius in lowland New Guinea and adjacent islands
  • D. b. laemostictus on New Britain and Umboi (Papua New Guinea)
  • D. b. meeki on Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands)
  • D. b. longirostris on San Cristobal (Solomon Islands)
  • D. b. baileyi in northwest Australia
  • D. b. atrabectus in northeast Australia
  • D. b. bracteatus in coastal east Australia

The following subspecies are regarded as a part of the Hair-crested Drongo complex by most authorities[2]:

  • D. b. samarensis on Samar, Biliran, Leyte, Calicoan, Panaon and Bohol (east-central Philippines)
  • D. b. palawanensis on Palawan (western Philippines)
  • D. b. cuyensis on Semirara and Cuyo (west-central Philippines)
  • D. b. striatus on Basilan, Mindanao and Nipa (south Philippines)
  • D. b. suluensis in the Sulu Archipelago (south-west Philippines)

Further taxonomic research is needed to clear species boarders.
Has been considered conspecific with Hair-crested Drongo and belongs to a superspecies with Hair-crested Drongo, Sumatran Drongo, Wallacean Drongo, Balicassiao, Sulawesi Drongo and Ribbon-tailed Drongo. Tablas Drongo was included as a subspecies to this species by some authorities.

[edit] Habitat

Wet forests and woodlands, mangroves and parks.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Doet

They have a varied diet mainly consisting of winged insects, with the addition of teak moth pupae and occasionally small vertebrates. The also eat fruit and nectar.

[edit] Breeding

Both adults build a shallow cup nest of twigs, vine tendrils and grasses, held together with spider web. The clutch contains 3-5 eggs which are incubated by both sexes.

[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
  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. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2018)

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