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Velvet-mantled Drongo

From Opus

Alternative names: Forest Drongo; Principe Drongo (modestus)

Dicrurus modestus


[edit] Identification

24 - 28cm.

  • Deep velvety black head and underparts (unglossed except slight greenish-blue sheen on forehead and crown)
  • Black mantle and back with faint violet-blue reflections, usually not much visible in field
  • Blackish-brown wing with moderate gloss (looking brighter than rest of plumage)
  • Long, forked tail
  • Deep red eye
  • Strong, hook-tipped black bill

Sexes similar, females slightly smaller. Juveniles have a pale barring on central belly and undertail-coverts and a brown eye.

[edit] Similar species

Differs from Square-tailed Drongo and Shining Drongo by larger size, deeply forked tail and less gloss. Differs from Fork-tailed Drongo by darker underside of flight-feathers and less gloss on back and underparts.

[edit] Distribution

Found in tropical Africa from Sierra Leone east to Uganda and south to Angola.
Replaces more or less Fork-tailed Drongo in these parts of Africa.
Widespread and locally common.

[edit] Taxonomy

Three subspecies recognized:

Sometimes considered conspecific with Fork-tailed Drongo.

[edit] Habitat

Forest glades and clearings. Also in plantations and parks.
Occupies high canopy in mature and old secondary forest where co-existing with Fork-tailed Drongo (which is found in understorey then).

[edit] Behaviour

Feeds on insects which are caught in the air. Often hunts at dusk.
Coracinus is quite shy, atactus more noisy and lively.
Aggressively territorial and harrassing and chasing any other animal coming to close to nest. The nest is a shallow cup made of twigs and rootlets and placed in a tree. Lays up to 3 eggs.
A resident species.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  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

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