Common square-tailed drongo

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Common square-tailed drongo
Square-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus ludwigii).jpg
Mkhuze Game Reserve, South Africa
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Dicruridae
Genus: Dicrurus
D. ludwigii
Binomial name
Dicrurus ludwigii
Smith, 1834

The common square-tailed drongo (Dicrurus ludwigii) is a drongo named after Baron von Ludwig. It was long considered conspecific with the Sharpe's and western square-tailed drongos. The drongos are small passerine birds of the Old World tropics. They were previously classed as the family Dicruridae, but that has been much enlarged to include a number of largely Australasian groups, such as the Australasian fantails, monarchs and paradise flycatchers.

The common square-tailed drongo is a common resident breeder in much of Africa south of the Sahara. These insect-eating birds are usually found in forests or dense bush. Two to three eggs are laid in a cup nest in a fork high in a tree.

These are aggressive and fearless birds, given their small size, at 19 cm, and will attack much larger species if their nest or young are threatened.

The male is mainly glossy black, although the wings are duller. The female is similar but less glossy. The bill is black and heavy, and the eye is red.

This species is similar to the fork-tailed drongo, but is smaller, and the shorter tail lacks the deep fork which gives the latter species its name. Fork-tailed is also typically found in more open habitat.

The common square-tailed drongo has short legs and sits very upright whilst perched prominently, like a shrike. It flycatches or take prey from the ground.

The call is a harsh cherit-cherit.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Dicrurus ludwigii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.

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