Order: Passeriformes

Family:  Dicruridae

Scientific name: Dicrurus macrocercus, Vieillot, 1817

IUCN Red list status-Least Concern

Did you know?

  1. Black Drongo is also called King Crow.


Black Drongo is 26-32 cms long and weighs 40-60 Gms. Adult has glossy blue-black or black plumage. Tail is long and deeply forked. Head is black, with only very small white patch at bill’s base. Bill is black and eyes are red. Legs and feet are dark grey. Both sexes are similar. Juvenile is browner, with some white in belly. It has brown eyes and shorter tail than adults.


Black Drongo mainly feeds on insects which it catches by performing aerial sallies. It hunts from a perch where it sits and carefully watches the surroundings for prey. It may catch insects from ground, and can also capture some reptiles or nestlings. Then it returns to the perch, in order to tear the prey before to swallow it. It also perches on the back of cattle for insects from the host’s body and those are disturbed by its walk. The forage time is mainly day and it is done solitarily or in pairs.


Black Drongo’s habitat includes agricultural fields, wooded country, wetlands, paddy fields, plantations, river side etc. In India it is distributed throughout the union. They are also found in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

Reproductive Behaviour

The breeding season is from March to August. The courtship includes aerial and ground displays. They are monogamous and highly territorial and defend the breeding territory aggressively and fearlessly. The nesting site is usually a fork of tree branch. The nest is a cup-like structure made with a thin layer of sticks and twigs usually placed in forks of branches. Normally 3-4 eggs are laid. The incubation of 14-15 days and neonatal care are shared by both parents.


The call is a loud, whistling “wee-tee-hee” sound.

Related Species and Sub Species

  • Ashy Drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus).
  • White-bellied Drongo (Dicrurus caerulescens).
  • Bronzed Drongo (Dicrurus aeneus).
  • Dicrurus macrocercus macrocercus of Southeast Pakistan and peninsular India.
  • Dicrurus macrocercus minor of Sri Lanka.
  • Dicrurus macrocercus cathoecus of South China, Myanmar, North Thailand, and North Indochina.

Migratory Behaviour

Common Resident