Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Black Drongo

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The Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus) is a glossy black bird with a forked tail. It has a white rictal spot at the base of its beak. The iris is brown. The juveniles are brownish and may have white on their underparts, sometimes resembling the white-bellied drongo.

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They are highly territorial and will attack bigger birds in their territory and thus are called King Crows. They are very manoeuvrable and acrobatic in flight. They are capable of producing a wide range of calls but a common call is a two note tee-hee call :

They are mostly aerial predators, catching insects in flight but also feed off the ground and on trees. They are active very early at dawn and roost later than many other birds. They associate themselves with other birds that share the same food and are even known to rob prey of such birds, using false alarm calls to frighten them off! They are also known to feed on Milkweed Butterflies that other birds avoid due to its toxic nature.

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They breed mostly in February and March. The courtship displays involve aerobatic chases. Nests are built in foks of branches. Three – four eggs are laid. Their habit of driving away predators within the nesting area encorages other birds to nest in close proximity.

  Sighting Information:
Location: Karimanoor
Date: 20th Dec 2009
Time: Morning; 7:30 AM
Weather: Sunny morning
Other Details: Part of a larger group including Orioles, Minivets and barbets.