Black Drongo

Black Drongo    Dicrurus macrocercus

Etymology :

  • Dicrurus : Greek word dikros – forked; ouros –tailed { Forked tailed}
  • Macrocercus : Greek word makros- long; kerkos- tail { Long-tailed}

Vernacular Language : Pakistan: Thampal, Baluchistan: Kolaho, Gohalo, Sind: Kunik, Kalkalachi, Hindi: Kolsa, Kala Bhujanga, Kotwal, Kalkalachi, Sans: Bharat angark, Pun: Japal kalchit, Kalkalichi, Chepu, M.P: Karanjua, Ben: Finga, Ass: Phenchu, Dhenchu sorai, Mani: Charoi, Cheiroi, Guj: Kosita, Kalo koshi, Kaliyo koshi, Kutch: Kanchh, Kalkanchh, Mar: Ghosia, Kotwal, Kolsa, Ori: Kajalapati, Ta: Kari kuruvi/karuman, Karichan, Karuvattu vali, Erattai valan kuruvi, Te: Passala poli gadu, Nalla aitrinta, Mal: Kakka tampuratti, Anaranchi, Kan: Kari bhujanga, Sinh: Kauda

Distribution in India: Widespread Resident in India.

Description:  Size of 27-28 cm. Nominate race has white rictal spot relatively large at gape, matt black lores, forehead and forecrown; rest of head and body plumage deeply lustrous black, uniformly glossed with dull steel-blue, inner webs of primaries grey-brown, darkening at tips; lining of wings pale silvery brown; semi-translucent primaries visible in flight; long tail deeply forked, outer pair of rectrices curving slightly outwards and rarely also slightly upwards; iris blood-red to deep crimson; bill rather broad and short, upper mandible curved and slightly hooked, black; legs black to dark grey. Both sexes very similar, female on average slightly smaller than male.

Habitat:  It is found mainly in open country and farmland with scattered trees; very common also in villages and suburbs, parks and gardens and along with cattle

Food Habits : They are insectivorous; some small vertebrates also taken. Consumes nectar also. Tears larger prey to pieces before swallowing them; removes wings of damselflies and other large-winged insects before consumption. Gathers in numbers to feed on swarming winged termites or emerging mosquitoes. They are attracted to forest fires and areas of burning grass, where it captures escaping insects, even amid thick rising smoke. Follows cattle, riding on back of buffalo or sheep and captures insects disturbed by the mammal.

Breeding Habits: They breed in May-Jun. Partners display by facing each other and indulging in rapid head-bobbing while duetting. Nest built by both sexes, taking 5–8 days. Nest is a flimsy-bottomed broad shallow cup, sides rather firm and thick, made from tiny twigs, rootlets, fine grass stems and other vegetable tightly woven together and plastered with cobweb, frequently lined with horsehair or fine grass, the outside often including pieces of lichen, moss, bark, spider egg sacs, placed in horizontal fork at extremity of tree branch or even on man-made structure. Lays a clutch of 2-5 eggs. Incubation is done by both sexes, in some cases male taking prominent part for a period of 14–16 days; eggs hatch asynchronously over 24–28 hours; chicks fed by both parents, nestling period mostly 16–17 days. Fledglings dependent on parents for 30 days. Nests parasitized by Indian Cuckoo