Family Drongos (Dicruridae)

Least Concern

Fork-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis)


Taxonomy

French: Drongo brillant German: Trauerdrongo Spanish: Drongo ahorquillado
Taxonomy:

Corvus adsimilis

Bechstein

, 1794,

Duiwenhok River, southern Cape, South Africa

.

In past, often treated as conspecific with D. macrocercus, but differs slightly in plumage and significantly in proportions and voice; possible close relationship between the two supported by DNA studies#R. Race divaricatus intergrades with fugax in N Uganda and Kenya. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. a. divaricatus (M. H. C. Lichtenstein, 1823) – SW Mauritania, Senegambia and Guinea E in savanna belt to N Cameroon, S Chad, S Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, S to Central African Republic, N DRCongo, N Uganda and N Kenya.
  • D. a. apivorus Clancey, 1976 – SE Gabon and adjacent Congo, WC & S DRCongo, Angola, N & W Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and N South Africa (N Northern Cape E to N Limpopo).
  • D. a. fugax W. K. H. Peters, 1868 – Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania (including Zanzibar) S to E Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, E Botswana, NE South Africa (E Limpopo S to NE KwaZulu-Natal) and E Swaziland.
  • D. a. adsimilis (Bechstein, 1794) – W Swaziland, Lesotho lowlands, and E & S South Africa (S Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal S to SW Western Cape).
  • Descriptive notes

    23–26 cm; 34–48 g (divaricatus), 48–53 g (nominate). Nominate race is almost entirely black, glossed blue-green on head, upperparts, breast and... read more

    Voice

    Very vocal; often the first bird to sing at dawn and last to be heard at dusk. Pre-dawn calls... read more

    Habitat

    All types of wooded habitats except dense forest, mainly from sea-level to low hills, including... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food mostly large insects, including moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera), grasshoppers (Orthoptera), beetles (Coleoptera), cicadas (... read more

    Breeding

    Season roughly Mar–Sept N of equator and Sept–Jan S of it; Apr–Jul in W Africa, Nov–Jun (mainly Feb–Apr) in... read more

    Movements

    Resident; possibly some short-distance movements in S.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally common to abundant and widespread in all kinds of open woodland habitats; one of the commonest birds of African savanna.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Rocamora, G. & Yeatman-Berthelot, D. (2018). Fork-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/60591 on 21 October 2018).