Square-tailed drongo-cuckoo

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Square-tailed drongo-cuckoo
Drongo Cuckoo from East Pendam Budang birding area in Sikkim, India.jpg
From East Pendam-Budang birding area in Sikkim, India
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Cuculiformes
Family: Cuculidae
Genus: Surniculus
Species: S. lugubris
Binomial name
Surniculus lugubris
(Horsfield, 1821)

The square-tailed drongo-cuckoo (Surniculus lugubris) is a species of cuckoo that resembles a black drongo. It is found in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia and is a summer visitor to the Himalayas from Kashmir to eastern Bangladesh. The calls are series of piercing sharp whistles rising in pitch but shrill and choppily delivered.[2]

Khao Yai National Park - Thailand


It can be easily distinguished by its downcurved beak and the white barred vent and outer undertail, and the tail only notched with slightly flared tips. In flight a white wing-stripe is visible from below. It is a brood parasite on small babblers. It is not known how or whether the drongo-like appearance benefits this species but it is suspected that it aids in brood-parasitism just as hawk-cuckoos appear like hawks.[3]

The square-tailed drongo-cuckoo was formerly considered conspecific with the fork-tailed drongo-cuckoo (together known as the Asian drongo-cuckoo), but vocal and morphological differences suggested that the species should be split.[2][4] That treatment is followed here.


  1. ^ "Surniculus lugubris". International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Retrieved 2014-12-31. 
  2. ^ a b Rasmussen, P. C. & Anderton, J. C. 2005 Birds of South Asia. The Ripley Guide. Smithsonian and Lynx Edicions
  3. ^ Davies NB & Welbergen JA (2008). "Cuckoo-hawk mimicry? An experimental test" (PDF). Proc. Biol. Sci. 275 (1644): 1817–1822. doi:10.1098/rspb.2008.0331. PMC 2587796Freely accessible. PMID 18467298. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-03. 
  4. ^ Fu-Min, Lei & Robert B. Payne (2002) Territorial songs of the drongo cuckoo complex (Surniculus lugubris & S. velutinus). The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 50(1):205-213 PDF