Spangled drongo

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Spangled drongo
Dicrurus bracteatus - Wonga.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Dicruridae
Genus: Dicrurus
Species: D. bracteatus
Binomial name
Dicrurus bracteatus
(Gould, 1842)
For the Asian species sometimes referred to by the same common name see hair-crested drongo

The spangled drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus) is a bird of the family Dicruridae.

The spangled drongo is the only drongo to be found in Australia. "Drongo" is Australian slang for "idiot", possibly referring to the bird's uninhibited and sometimes comical behaviour as it swoops and perches in search of insects, small birds and occasionally, small skinks.

Whilst this bird is often silent, it sometimes makes astonishingly loud, complex and entertaining calls that may sound like a "sneeze".

The most remarkable characteristic of its appearance is its tail, which is described by Morcombe as "long, outcurved and forked"[2] and on first examination looks like its feathers are crossed over - like crossing your fingers.

Its basically black plumage is iridescent with blue and purple highlights. When it - seasonally - visits urban areas it is easily tamed by throwing small pieces of raw meat into the air, when it will accurately swoop and catch them mid-air.

The spangled drongo is an amazing mimic taking most of her vocabulary from the sounds she hears and weaving them into her own virtuoso aria.

A nest of vine tendrils

Breeding[edit]

Drongos are altitudinal and latitudinal migrants.

In the high altitude areas around Brisbane, Qld, Australia, they arrive in late spring and leave with their new crop of juveniles in early to mid-summer. Nests are cup shaped in open spaces, where it is difficult for predators to access without being seen, 75% up the canopy. Each year, they produce 3-5 young.

References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Dicrurus bracteatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Morecomb, 2003 Field Guide to Australian Birds

External links[edit]