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Drongos

Drongos are 2224 species of handsome birds that make up the family of perching birds known as Dicruridae. Drongos occur in Africa, southern and southeastern Asia, and Australasia. Their usual habitats are open forests, savannas, and some types of cultivated areas with trees.

Drongos are typically colored black with a beautiful, greenish or purplish iridescence. The wings of these elegant, jay-sized birds are relatively long and pointed, and the tail is deeply forked. The tail of some species is very long, with the outer feathers developing extremely long filaments with a racket at the end. The beak is stout and somewhat hooked, and is surrounded by short, stiff feathers known as rictal bristles, a common feature on many fly-catching birds other than drongos. The sexes are identical in color and size.

Drongos are excellent and maneuverable fliers, though not over long distances. They commonly feed by catching insects in flight, having discovered their prey from an exposed, aerial perch. Some species follow large mammals or monkeys, feeding on insects that are disturbed as these heavier animals move about.

Drongos sing melodiously to proclaim their territory, often imitating the songs of other species. They are aggressive in the defense of their territory against other drongos as well as against potential predators. Some other small birds deliberately nest close to drongos because of the relative protection that is afforded against crows, hawks, and other predators.

Drongos lay three to four eggs in a cup-shaped nest located in the fork of a branch. The eggs are mostly incubated by the female, but both sexes share in the feeding and caring of the young.

The greater racket-tailed drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus ) of India, Malaya, and Borneo has a very long tail, which is about twice the length of the body of the bird. More than one-half of the length of the tail is made up of the extended, wire-like shafts of the outer-two tail feathers, which end in an expanded, barbed surfacethe racket. These seemingly ungainly tail-feathers flutter gracefully as these birds fly, but do not seem to unduly interfere with their maneuverability when hunting flying insects. The greater racket-tailed drongo is also famous for its superb mimicry of the songs of other species of birds.

Another well-known species is the king-crow or black drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus ) of India, so-named because of its aggressive dominance of any crows that venture too near, and of other potential predators as well. Like other drongos, however, the king-crow is not a bullyit only chases away birds that are potentially dangerous.

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Drongos

Drongos are 20 species of handsome birds that make up the family of perching birds known as Dicruridae. Drongos occur in Africa , southern and southeastern Asia , and Australasia. Their usual habitats are open forests , savannas, and some types of cultivated areas with trees.

Drongos are typically black colored with a beautiful, greenish or purplish iridescence. The wings of these elegant, jay-sized birds are relatively long and pointed, and the tail is deeply forked. The tail of some species is very long, with the outer feathers developing extremely long filaments with a "racket" at the end. The beak is stout and somewhat hooked, and is surrounded by short, stiff feathers known as rictal bristles, a common feature on many fly-catching birds other than drongos. The sexes are identical in color and size.

Drongos are excellent and maneuverable fliers, though not over long distances. They commonly feed by catching insects in flight, having discovered their prey from an exposed, aerial perch. Some species follow large mammals or monkeys , feeding on insects that are disturbed as these heavier animals move about.

Drongos sing melodiously to proclaim their territory, often imitating the songs of other species. They are aggressive in the defense of their territory against other drongos as well as potential predators. Some other small birds deliberately nest close to drongos because of the relative protection that is afforded against crows, hawks , and other predators.

Drongos lay three to four eggs in a cup-shaped nest located in the fork of a branch. The eggs are mostly incubated by the female, but both sexes share in the feeding and caring of the young.

The greater racket-tailed drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus) of India, Malaya, and Borneo has a very long tail, which is about twice the length of the body of the bird. More than one-half of the length of the tail is made up of the extended, wire-like shafts of the outer-two tail feathers, which end in an expanded, barbed surface—the racket. These seemingly ungainly tail-feathers flutter gracefully as these birds fly, but do not seem to unduly interfere with their maneuverability when hunting flying insects. The greater racket-tailed drongo is also famous for its superb mimicry of the songs of other species of birds.

Another well-known species is the king-crow (Dicrurus macrocercus) of India, so-named because of its aggressive dominance of any crows that venture too closely, and of other potential predators as well. Like other drongos, however, the king-crow is not a bully—it only chases away birds that are potentially dangerous.

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drongo (drŏng´gō), any of the insect-eating Old World birds of the family Dicruridae. Most species have black plumage with an iridescent purple or green shimmer and long, deeply forked tails. They have long pointed wings and stout, hooked bills ornamented with long bristles about the mouth. Most have ornamental crests or head plumes. Drongos range in body length from 7 to 15 in. (18–38 cm); the tail in some species is as long as 28 in. (71 cm). Solitary, arboreal birds of forests, wooded savannas, and fields, drongos are most numerous in S Asia, but also occur in S Africa and NE Australia. Typical of the family is the king crow, Dicrurus macrocerus, found from India to Java and Taiwan. Drongos are powerful, aggressive birds and will drive off birds much larger than themselves, incidentally providing protection to more docile species that nest in the same trees. Members of some species follow cattle in order to feed on the associated insects. There are about 20 drongo species, classified in two genera, Dicrurus and Chaetorhynchus, of the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Dicruridae.

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drongo •Hidalgo •charango, Durango, fandango, mango, Okavango, quango, Sango, tango •GlasgowArgo, argot, cargo, Chicago, embargo, escargot, farrago, largo, Margot, Otago, Santiago, virago •Lego • Marengo •Diego, galago, Jago, lumbago, sago, Tierra del Fuego, Tobago, Winnebago •amigo, ego, Vigo •bingo, dingo, Domingo, flamingo, gringo, jingo, lingo •Bendigo • indigo • archipelago •vertigo • Sligo •doggo, logo •bongo, Congo, drongo, Kongo, pongo •a-gogo, go-go, pogo, Togo •Hugo •fungo, mungo •ergo, Virgo

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Dicruridae(drongos; class Aves, order Passeriformes) A family of small to medium, glossy black birds that have stout, hooked bills and rictal bristles, some being crested. Their tails are medium to long, often having distinctive curled or racquet-shaped feathers. They are aggressive and inhabit forests, flycatching for insects and building open or semi-pendant nests. There are two genera, with 20 species, 19 of them in the genus Dicrurus: (D. hottentottus (spangled drongo) has at least 31 subspecies and is one of the most variable birds.) The monotypic genus Chaetorhynhus papuensis (Papuan mountain drongo) has 12, not 10, tail feathers, and is endemic to New Guinea.

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drongos See DICRURIDAE.

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