Greater Racket-tailed Drongo

Greater Racquet-tailed Drongo     Dicrurus paradiseus


  • Dicrurus : Greek word dikros – forked; ouros –tailed { Forked tailed} : dikros – forked; ouros –tailed   { Forked tailed}
  • Paradiseus : Persian term pairi-daeza – walled garden

 Vernacular Names :  Hindi: Bhimraj, Bhringraj, Bhangraj, Sans: Bhrungaraj, Ben: Bhimraj, Bhringraj, Ass: Bhimraj, Cachar: Dao raja gashim, Lepcha: Parvak, Parvak pho, Nepal: Kaljia, Gond: Hati, Guj: Bhimraj, Mar: Pallavpuchha kotwal, Bhrungaraj Kotwal, Motha bhrungaraj, Ta: Erattai valan, Erattai val kuruvi, Kondai karichan, Te: Tinka passala poligadu, Kan: Tanta balada bhujanga, Sinh: Maha kauda, Kaputu balaya

Distribution in India: Resident of Western Ghats and some parts of Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and central India. Also resident of Lower Himalayas, Andaman& Nicobar Islands and North Eastern states

Description: Size of 32 cm. Nominate race is black with fairly strong metallic blue or greenish-blue gloss, breast spangles rather small and not sharply defined, trace of gloss on edges of crest feathers and on outer webs of primaries and rectrices; feathers around neck, when well developed, form glossy cape covering shoulders; elongated frontal feathers form backward-curling crest with mean length of 24 mm (longest feathers reaching to posterior part of crown); average length of central rectrix 138 mm, of outermost rectrix 393 mm, of tail-racquet 89 mm; iris blood-red; bill and legs black. Both the sexes similar.

Habitat :  It is found in humid broadleaf evergreen or deciduous lowland forests

Food Habits: It is insectivorous; some small vertebrates also taken. Consumes nectar also. Crepuscular habits, hunting far into dusk, as well as during daytime. It hunts mainly in middle stratum or interior canopy. It feeds almost entirely on the wing, swooping from elevated lookout post, to which it returns after catching prey. Tree-frogs and small lizard are seized on ground; larvae picked from tree trunks and branches in agile swoops and carried away in claws.

Breeding Habits:  They breed in Apr–Jun/Jul in North Indian Subcontinent, Mar–Apr in Kerala, Apr–May in Andaman. Courtship behavior includes Leaf-picking  . The nest is built by both sexes. The nest is a small cradle of fine twigs, rootlets, grass stems or other vegetable fibers like broken leaves, moss or lichen, often so coarsely and thinly bound together with cobwebs that contents visible from, hung from fork of horizontal branch, far from trunk and generally above ground .They lay a clutch of 3-4 eggs. Incubation of eggs and tending of chicks done by both sexes.Fledglings accompany parents closely and are fed by them with decreasing frequency and regularity for  5 months, although able to find food independently after less than 3 months, family bond apparently maintained until mid-Dec and young disperse by middle of Feb. Brood parasitism happens by Indian Cuckoo .