Fork-tailed drongo

Fork-tailed drongo
Dicrurus adsimilis
Photo by Dirk Daniels (Wikipedia)

Common name:
fork-tailed drongo (en); drongo-de-cauda-furcada (pt); drongo brillant (fr); drongo ahorquillado (es); trauerdrongo (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Dicruridae

This species is found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, only being absent from extremely arid areas.

These birds are 25 cm long and weigh 40-50 g.

Fork-tailed drongos are mostly found in dry savannas and riverine woodlands, but also in dry grasslands with scattered trees, forest edges, alien tree plantations, farmland, gardens and parks. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.200 m.

They mostly eat insects, namely honey bees, paper wasps, larval beetles, caterpillars, ticks and termites, but also small lizards, fishes, eggs, chicks and adult birds, and occasionally the nectar of Aloe plants.

Fork-tailed drongos breed in August-January. The nest is a small cup made of twigs, leaf petioles and tendrils, strongly bound together with spider web strands. It is usually placed like a hammock between the branches of a tree fork, 4-6 m above ground. There the female lays 2-5 eggs which are incubated by both sexes for 15-18 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 16-22 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and, although the global population size has not been quantified, it is believed to be large as the species is described as common in at least parts of its range. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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