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Fork-tailed Drongo

Fork-tailed Drongo
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2016-01-18
Camera: Nikon D90, Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/8, 1/1000 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2016-06-25 2:29
Viewed: 2333
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Fork-tailed Drongo, also called the Common Drongo, African Drongo, or Savanna Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis), is a drongo, a type of small passerine bird of the Old World tropics. The species was earlier considered to cover Asia, but the Asian species is now called the Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus). They are members of the family Dicruridae.

The Fork-tailed Drongo is a common and widespread resident breeder in Africa south of the Sahara. These insect-eating birds are usually found in open forests or bush. Two to four eggs are laid in a cup nest in a fork high in a tree.

These are aggressive and fearless birds, given their small size, and will attack much larger species, including birds of prey if their nest or young are threatened.

The male is mainly glossy black, although the wings are duller. It is large-headed and has the forked tail which gives the species its name. The female is similar but less glossy. The bill is black and heavy, and the eye is red.

The Fork-tailed Drongo is 25 cm long. It has short legs and sits very upright whilst perched prominently, like a shrike. It flycatches or take prey from the ground and is attracted to bush fires.
The call is a metallic strink-strink. The Fork-tailed Drongo in Africa are capable of using deceptive mimicked alarm calls to steal food from birds and animals such as meerkats.

The subspecies D. a. modestus (Príncipe) together with D. a. coracinus and D. a. atactus (Bioko and mainland west and central Africa from Guinea east to western Kenya and south to Angola) is usually split as a separate species, the Velvet-mantled Drongo D. modestus, (Hartlaub, 1849).

Observations show that the Fork-tailed Drongo in Africa are capable of using deceptive mimicked alarm calls to steal food from birds like pied babblers and animals such as meerkats. Tom Flower observed that Fork-tailed Drongos spend a quarter of their time following other animals. Sometimes when a predator is approaching, drongos act as sentries and warn their neighbours with genuine alarm calls. But drongos also earn quarter of their daily calories by sounding a false alarm, when the other animal finds food. When the meerkats and babblers flee from the non-existent predator, drongo steals their food. Researchers have considered the possibility that these drongos possess theory of mind, not fully shown in any animal other than humans, but doubt this capability.

Source: Wikipedia

Hotelcalifornia, marius-secan, mesquens, shaukatmi, pierrefonds, Chiza has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Peter,
Well captured this "Fork-Tailed Drongo" against such beautiful blue sky. I haven't find this species yet here in KNP. Wish next time it'll come on my list. Good details on black plumage with splendid colored eye. No doubt a good photograph of a Drongo even in such angle. Nice composition.....
Well Post processing. No hallow which is common when we work in blue sky.
Thanks for sharing with useful NOTE,
Regards and have a nice WE,

Hello Peter,
It is a pleasure viewing this photo. It is really a splendid capture. Amazing sharpness and excellent clarity. Outstanding colors. The light and details are great. Very nice and interesting specie.

Olá Peter,
Amazing shot.
Very good focus, colors and shapes.
Good one.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2016-06-26 8:11]

Hi Peter,an excellent capture despite the distance,beutiful black drongo in a minimalistic composition,perfect moment with the best light.Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2016-06-27 10:47]

Hello Peter,
Not easy to capture good detail on a dark colored plumage like this, but you managed quite well. Wonderful exposure giving us a great view of it's pretty plumage and unique forked tail.
It's red eye captures your attention immediately and the bright blue sky as a BG is a real bonus.

Ciao Peter, great capture of lovely bird in nice pose on beautiful blue sky. fine details, wonderful colors and splendid sharpness, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

Hi, Peter. This is a nice photograph of the "Fork Tailed Drongo "which contrasts nicely with the blue sky. I also like your low viewpoint giving good details of this bird relaxing on the branch. Amazing sharpness with excellent clarity and the dark plumage contrasting nicely with the colored eye. Thanks for sharing.

Hi Peter,

The bird is well placed in the frame. The point of view is showing the details of the Fork-tailed Drongo giving you a good eye contact. It is clear and sharp. Have a nice day.


  • Great 
  • periko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 70 W: 2 N: 145] (1487)
  • [2016-07-09 22:44]

Hi Peter
Interesting bird I had never seen before.
We have black birds in Mexico, but this one is quite different.
Neat composition with such a blue backdrop.


  • Great 
  • Chiza Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 133 W: 0 N: 474] (5351)
  • [2016-07-12 10:05]

Hola Peter...que hermosa foto de esta bella especie, me gusta el contacto con el hojo y los detalles de la especie, la percha y el fondo son de maravilla y el manejo de la luz a pesar de su dureza es excelente...saludos.

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