One of my favourite birds to see when out walking in the bush is a rather conspicuous little black bird called the fork-tailed drongo . Being smaller and more manoeuvrable, the drongo is able to dive-bomb perched raptors, or even sometimes those in flight, pecking them annoyingly behind the head, without fear of being caught by the larger bird, which has neither surprise nor speed-from-rest to its advantage. Though in doubt, researchers have considered the possibility that these drongos possess theory of mind, not fully shown in any animal other than humans. The drongo will alarm call and cause the animal to flee and or hide from the danger or predator that is not there, the drongo then flies in and steals the food of the unsuspecting animal. Terrestrial foragers like babblers may use the drongo as a sentry. It is native to the tropics, subtropics and temperate zones of the Afrotropics. "Habitat- driven diversification, hybridization and cryptic diversity in the Fork- tailed Drongo (Passeriformes: Dicruridae: Species text in The Atlas of Southern African Birds, Fork-tailed drongo videos, photos & sounds, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fork-tailed_drongo&oldid=980614620, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 September 2020, at 13:47. Females are similar but less glossy. The species was earlier considered to cover Asia, but the Asian species is now called the Black Drongo ( Dicrurus macrocercus ). Dicrurus adsimilis. The species sits in the canopy and midstory, hawking insects from a perch, and it sometimes associates with large mammals, eating prey that they flush. Males are a bit more glossy than females. The fork-tailed drongo or common drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis) is a very common species of passerine bird found across most of sub-Saharan Africa.It reaches a length of 23-26 cm (9-10 in). Sabi Sabi Wild Facts: Fork-Tailed Drongo This fantastic little bird is a common resident in and around Sabi Sabi. Drongos are brood hosts for African Cuckoos and Jacobin Cuckoos.[8]. BirdLife International 2016. The fork-tailed drongo is an aggressive and fearless bird, often mobbing larger species of birds if they feel threatened. This bird has a large head with a hooked black bill and a red eye. The Fork-Tailed Drongo, also called the Common, the African, or the Savanna Drongo, is scientifically known as Dicrurus adsimilis. As these big animals move through the grass, they cause the insects to jump or fly up and – whoop – there is an easy meal for the drongo! South Africa Online (Pty) Ltd. SouthAfrica.co.za. They hang out on the savanna looking for food and doing whatever it is Drongos do. They also utilize disturbance caused by animals, and may perch on their backs. [2] To maintain their plumage condition they may rain-bathe, foliage-bathe or plunge-dive into water. One of the most common birds that you’re guaranteed to spot while driving in the Kruger National Park, is the Fork-tailed Drongo.. The Fork-tailed Drongo, also called the Common Drongo, African Drongo, or Savanna Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis), is a drongo, a type of small passerine bird of the Old World tropics. They are often seen mobbing or harassing birds of prey. Two to four eggs are laid in a cup nest in a fork high in a tree. Fork-Tailed Drongo. Two to four eggs are laid. On a game drive you will see them following big game, such as giraffe, buffalo and rhino. Juvenile has a galaxy-like smattering of white spots all over the body. Drongos sometimes act as sentries when a predator is approaching, warning their neighbours with genuine alarm calls. But let me tell you, the Fork-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis) is anything but. The fork-tailed drongo can mimic the alarm call of some mammals and birds, like meercats and some of the babblers. These insect-eating birds are usually found in open forests or bush, and are tolerant of arid climates. The fork-tailed drongo can be easily mistaken for a southern black flycatcher (melaenornis pammelaina) as the two birds are very similar in appearance, except the drongo has a red eye and the flycatcher has a brown eye. But drongos also earn a quarter of their daily calories by sounding a false alarm when another animal finds food. The black drongo was once considered a subspecies of the fork-tailed drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis), a close relative that diverged relatively recently. This bird is a Fork-tailed drongo. They are aggressive and fearless, regularly mobbing or attacking much larger species, including birds of prey, if their nest or young are threatened or their territory is compromised. [2] They also join mixed foraging bird parties, and will initiate mobbing of common enemies. Glossy small black cuckoo with a forked tail. Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo has a less prominently-forked tail; note less difference in length of outermost tail feathers. Information about the classification … It is black in appearance with a slight greenish gloss on the top of its head and has red eyes, a hook-shaped bill, and a forked tail. It is glossy black all over its body. The nest is a poorly made wide shallow cup that is either suspended between two branches, like a hammock, or placed high up in a tree, in a fork. The drongo recognizes the raptor as a predatory threat but it is aware that the raptor relies on the element of surprise to attack prey. Drongos are regular brood hosts for the African cuckoo. They are medium sized and usually weigh about 50 grams. It reaches a length of 23-26 cm. All Rights Reserved. Tick and parasites are taken from larger mammals. Its diet consists of large insects, but they have also been known to catch small fish. The Fork-tailed Drongo is a common and widespread resident breeder in Africa south of the Sahara. One of these species is Fork-Tailed drongo.The fork-tailed drongo is an aggressive and fearless small bird. In the 1985 edition of Roberts Birds of South Africa the calls of the Fork-tailed Drongo are rather delightfully described: “Song loud jumble of… The animals flee, and leave their food. The tail is deeply forked. Unlock thousands of full-length species accounts and hundreds of bird family … Species List of birds of Metropolitan France Josep del Hoyo, Nigel Collar, and Guy M. Kirwan Version: 1.0 — Published March 4, 2020 Text last updated March 16, 2017 View of pronounced rictal and nasal bristles and deep red eye, The western race D. a. apivorus has brown edges to the primaries, and occurs in dry woodlands of southwestern Africa, Eastern race D. a. fugax is somewhat smaller than the nominate, Immature D. a. adsimilis with dusky primaries. The drongo will also mimic the alarm call of some of the bigger mammals, causing the mammals to move around, which flushes insects up from the ground making it easier for the drongo to hunt. [5], They still-hunt by sitting very upright on a prominent perch, much like a shrike. They are usually solitary and form monogamous breeding pairs. Fork-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus adsilis) 25 cm Identification: Size medium; black with purplish sheen all over; tail longish, deeply notched or forked (less so in the ♀); in moult, tail often has a double fork until fully grown out; in flight wings pale, translucent, almost whitish; albinos and partial albinos rarely occur. Black, imitates other birds songs and voices, follows zebras to eat insects dislodges by their hoofs. [2] At times they catch ectoparasites on mammals, plunge-dive to catch fish, or kleptoparasitise mammals or birds. The fork-tailed drongo, also called the common drongo, African drongo, or savanna drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis), is a species of drongo in the family Dicruridae, which are medium-sized passerine birds of the Old World. The fork-tailed drongo will fly and catch insects in the air or take prey from the ground. Drongo belongs to the family Dicruridae and order Passeriformes.This family consists of 29 species in the genus Dicrurus. The fork-tailed drongo has a wide distribution across South Africa, and can be found in most woodlands and forests and is a common visitor to urban gardens. These insect-eating birds are usually found in open forests or bush. This little black bird with its distinct fork-shaped tail, can be seen all over the park, usually sitting on branches next to the road or with other animals. Males are mainly glossy black, although their wings are duller. The fork-tailed drongo will hunt from a perch, hawking insects. This drongo has also been recorded eating small birds and nectar. It is native to the tropics, subtropics and temperate zones of the Afrotropics. Fork-tailed Drongo Cuckoo is moulting its outer tail feathers, the tail could then appear fairly square-ended (Mike Prince, in litt., e-mail dated 20 February 2018), potentially leading to Fork-tailed Drongo Cuckoos being misidentified as Square-tailed. The fork-tailed drongo uses alarm calls to steal food from birds and animals such as meerkats. Fork-tailed Drongo in Lower Zambezi National Park – Zambia The plumage is entirely black and the eye is the colour of red wine , closer inspection reveals a deeply… The fork-tailed drongo has a mainly glossy black plumage, with the wings being a little duller. [2], Observations show that the fork-tailed drongo in Africa are capable of using deceptive mimicked alarm calls to steal food from birds like pied babblers and animals such as meerkats. Observations from Gujarat support the existence of individual variations. Tom Flower observed that fork-tailed drongos spend a quarter of their time following other animals. The fork-tailed drongo is a common and widespread resident breeder in Africa south of the Sahara. This drongo will follow larger mammals to feed on any insects that are disturbed when the mammal moves. The fork-tailed drongo is a kleptoparasite specialist. A red-eyed all-black upright bird with a narrow tail that splays out into a fork. Birds of prey are often mobbed by the cocky fork-tailed drongo. The fork-tailed drongo feeds almost exclusively on insects, with the main food being bees hawked on the wing. Pairs and singles occasionally join mixed-species flocks in a variety of wooded and open country, although they avoid forest. The fork-tailed drongo is 25 cm long and has short legs. Similar to Black Flycatcher but… This practice is a form of kleptoparasitism. [5][10] The races D. a. modestus (Príncipe) together with D. a. coracinus and D. a. atactus (Bioko to west and central mainland Africa, from Guinea east to western Kenya and south to Angola) are usually split as a separate species, the velvet-mantled drongo, D. modestus (Hartlaub, 1849). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T103710902A95034217. Fork-tailed Drongos often join mixed species of foraging flocks and you will only see these birds in the light – once the sun goes down, they call it a night. The fork-tailed drongo will hunt from a perch, hawking insects. The call is a metallic strink-strink. Adults may be confused with drongos, but are lighter-billed and smaller, with distinctly white-barred undertail. Its populations are genetically highly structured,[9] and four races are accepted. They make drongo-specific calls as well as mimicked calls. [2] The rectrices curve outwards, forming the forked tail for which the species is named. The fork-tailed drongo, also called the common drongo, African drongo, or savanna drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis), is a species of drongo in the family Dicruridae, which are medium-sized[2] passerine birds of the Old World. It is also known as common, African, or Savana Drongo.Fork-Tailed drongo commonly lives in temperate, tropic and sub-tropic zones of Africa. The mimicked calls help them while they target other animals that are eating food. Fork-tailed drongos have discovered that imitating the alarm call of a foraging babbler or starling can induce these birds to drop whatever they are eating and quickly fly for cover. Drongo, Fork-tailed also Common Drongo Dicrurus adsimilis Found: Africa Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - Kenya 2) Arno Meintjes 3) Lip Kee Yap in alsogera National Park, Rwanda 4, 5) Dick Daniels - Kruger National Park, South Africa 6) Sandy Cole - Kruger 1) Juvenile Drongo,_Greater_Racket-tailed Dicrurus paradiseus Found: Asia They are normally solitary, but may be seen in pairs during the breeding season. Fork-tailed Drongos—small passerines common in sub-Saharan Africa—have long been viewed as outright thieves: they follow a group of foraging animals, such as Southern Pied-Babblers or meerkats, wait until the animals turn up some tasty morsels, then give a … Fork-tailed Drongo Behaviour. (4) Migratory seabird (4) Fork-tailed seabird (4) Arctic-to-Antarctica migrating bird (4) Bird with a two-pointed tail (4) Fork tailed bird (4) Graceful gull (4) Fork-tailed flier (4) Seagull kin (4) Arctic bird … It is large-headed with well-developed rictal and nasal bristles, which are used as sensory organs. The fork-tailed drongo or common drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis) is found across most of sub-Saharan Africa. Once they are gone, the drongo steals it. The two are now considered distinct species, with the fork-tailed drongo restricted to Africa and separated from the Asian range of the black drongo. The hooked bill is black and heavy, and the eye is red. [2], They are almost exclusively carnivorous, but may take nectar when available. The fork-tailed drongo inhabits open forests and shrublands throughout Chad and other African countries. When the meerkats and babblers flee from the non-existent predator, the drongo steals their food. These are African birds. But that can be hard work, so the Drongo has come up with a devilishly clever way to cheat Meerkats out of their dinner. Whenever you find a group birds “mobbing” a snake or owl during the day there will be a Fork-tailed Drongo in the centre of the action. the african fork-tailed drongo Drongos, common in South Africa, have glossy black feathers and red eyes. The fork-tailed drongo is a medium sized bird at 25 cm in length, including the tail. Identification record : Fork-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis) is a bird which belongs to the family of Dicruridés and the order of Passeriformes. The Fork-tailed Drongo is a common and widespread resident breeder in Africa south of the Sahara. It is glossy black in colour – males are a bit more glossy than females – the tail is long and forked, the bill is strong and the eyes are a deep red. Its range was formerly considered to include Asia, but the Asian species is now called the black drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus). This is a tactic used to encourage the raptor to leave the vicinity. Two to four eggs are laid in a cup nest in a fork high in a tree. Fork-tailed bird (4) TERN: Arctic seabird (4) Sea-bird (4) Sea swallow, e.g. The fork-tailed drongo is monogamous. It is a species of drongo from the family of Dicruridae and native to the tropics, subtropics, and temperate zones.it is mainly found in the sub-Saharan countries in on forests, bushes, and arid climates. [2] They flycatch or take prey from the ground, and are attracted to bush fires. These insect-eating birds are usually found in open forests or bush. Kleptoparasitism is a term used for Fork-tailed Drongos as they often steal prey from other birds, or from the same species. The fork-tailed drongo is an aggressive and fearless bird, often mobbing larger species of birds if they feel threatened. Fork-tailed Drongos are active visitors to our garden. They are normally solitary, but may be seen in pairs during the breeding season. In the summer months they are at their most conspicuous, issuing their jumbled call while perching in trees, sallying forth to hawk insects. Fork-tailed Drongo, Dicrurus adsimilis - Common and widespread in Africa south of the Sahara Príncipe Drongo , Dicrurus modestus (Lower risk (nt)) - Found on the island of Bioko and mainland west and central Africa from Guinea east to western Kenya and south to Angola. https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T103710902A95034217.en, "Fork-tailed drongos use deceptive mimicked alarm calls to steal food", "Fork-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis)", "The Bird That Cries Wolf Changes Its Lies", "Comparative phylogeography of southern African birds". [4][6][7], Two to four eggs are laid in a cup nest in a fork high in a tree. Its drab black colouration does not attract much interest from passers-by but when you look beyond the colour there is a world of intelligence and specialisation. Its range was formerly considered to include Asia, but the Asian species is now called the black drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus). [3][4] Vocal at dawn and dusk.

fork tailed drongo birds

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