Drongo Cuckoo  Surniculus lugubris


  • Surniculus : French name , sournois – deceitful; Coucou – cuckoo { Deceitful Cuckoo}
  • Lugubris : Latin word for Mournful derived from lugere to mourn.

Distribution in India: Resident of Western Ghats and South East Peninsula

Description: Size of 23-25 cm; wt. of 26–43·6 g. Adult is glossy blue-black with greener wing-coverts, inner secondaries and tertials, and brownish tinge to breast, belly and vent, tail square or slightly forked, white leggings, white bands on under tail-coverts, white bar on underwing, skin around eye blackish or dark bluish grey, iris brown to dark grey, bill black with pale yellow mouth lining, and legs and feet dark grey. The female is duller than male, with yellow eyes. The juvenile is dull blackish brown, with white spots on head, wings and breast, white tips to uppertail-coverts, rounded, white-tipped rectrices and often show white spots on shafts and broader white bars. The race barussarum is overall smaller and shorter- and more square-tailed, with less brownish underparts.

Habitat: It is found in forests , semi-evergreen, swamp and riparian ,lowland dipterocarp and peat-swamp forests and temperate forests ,scrub, forest edge and clearings, pines, disturbed forest, small forest patches, bamboo thickets, plantations, and occasionally gardens, mangroves. It is found from lowlands up to 2600 m.

Food Habits: They eat insects, caterpillars, beetles, swarming termites, spiders. They also eat fruit, like figs and banyans. Forages in foliage canopy, also perches on charred stumps and saplings in recently burned clearings, but also performs aerial sallies for swarming termites, and joins mixed-species flocks.

Breeding Habits: They breed in Apr–Jul in Assam (NE India), Apr and Jun in Bangladesh, Apr in Myanmar, May–Jul in Thai-Malay Peninsula, Apr–May on Borneo, and perhaps almost year-round on Java. They are brood-parasitic and hosts like babblers. The eggs resemble those of the hosts. The nestling has mouth-lining bright red, feet vinaceous. Fledglings and eggs of the host are evicted by its chicks.