• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo - BirdForum Opus

Photo by the late Laurence Poh
Near Perak, Malaysia, January 2004
Surniculus lugubris


Overall glossy black.Small white nuchal patch and white thighs are difficult to observe in the field.

From Drongos by thinner slightly down curved beak, forked tail (slightly) with white barrings on vent and under tail coverts.

Juvenile is slightly browner and has white spots on body and coverts.


Asia: found in the Indian sub-continent, through south-east Asia to the Greater Sundas and Bali.



Photo by SeeToh
Former Bidadari Cemetery, Singapore, October 2013

Clements recognizes three subspecies[1]:

This species was formerly included in Asian Drongo-Cuckoo.


Forest and forest edges.


Keeps to the canopy and the crown of tall trees. Does not chase insects from a open perch in the manner of drongos.
A known brood parasite of Striped Tit-Babbler and Olive-winged Bulbul.
Very vocal.


  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. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

External Links