Ashy Drongo  Dicrurus leucophaeus

Etymology :

  • Dicrurus : Greek word dikros – forked; ouros –tailed { Forked tailed}
  • Leucophaeus : leukos – white; phaios – dusky { Ashy White}

Vernacular names : Kash: Gankots, Telakots, Ben: Neel finga, Lepcha: Sahim, Sahim pho, Bhutan: Che-chum, Guj: Rakhodi koshi, Ta: Erattai valan kuruvi, Te: Budidarangu aitrinta, Mal: Kakkattampuran, Kan: Boodu bhujanga, Hindi: Slaty Bhujanga, Mar: Rakhi Kotwal

Distribution in India: Resident of North East and Himalayas, summer visitor in North Himalaya, Widespread Winter Visitor except North West of India.

Description: Size of 28-29 cm. Nominate race has plumage entirely ashy grey, rather dark on throat and underparts, with velvety dark frontal band and blackish chin; tail long and deeply forked, outer rectrices slightly flaring outwards and upwards; iris bright red; bill robust, black; legs black. Both sexes are similar in plumage, male slightly larger than female.

Habitat: It is found mainly in mountain areas, preferring more open forest; occurs in rainforest, mixed pine, oak and rhododendron forest and mixed bamboo-jungle

Food Habits : They are insectivorous; some small vertebrates also taken. Consumes nectar also. Perches high on open branch at edge of forest; sallies from treetop perch to take flying insects close to ground or on tree trunks and in canopy foliage. Follows cattle, riding on back of buffalo or sheep and captures insects disturbed by the mammal. Mainly crepuscular. Hunts singly, in pairs or in small noisy parties, especially when feeding on winged termites, which it snaps up in acrobatic flight

Breeding Habits: They breed in May-Jun.Both sexes take part in building nest, female doing most of construction work, male bringing materials,. The nest building work takes 5–10 days. Nest is a shallow flimsy cup of vegetable fibers, like rootlets, grass stems, lichens, and leaves, aerial roots of banyan or seeded flower tops closely interwoven, and plastered with spider webs, and a few intermingled lichen or leaves, contents often visible through bottom of nest. Nest is place usually high up, suspended from or partly embedded in fork at extremity of slender branch, often overhanging river bank. It lays a clutch of 2–4 eggs. Incubation is done by both sexes for a period of 13 days; both also tend chicks