Spangled Drongo
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri
Family: Dicruridae
Vigors, 1825
  • Chaetorhynchus
  • Dicrurus

The drongos are a family of small passerine birds of the Old World tropics, the Dicruridae. This family was sometimes[clarification needed] much enlarged to include a number of largely Australasian groups, such as the Australasian fantails, monarchs and paradise flycatchers. The name is originally from the indigenous language of Madagascar, where it refers to local species, but is now used to refer to all members of the family.[1] The family is usually treated as having two genera, Chaetorhynchus and Dicrurus. The genus Chaetorhynchus contains a single species, the New Guinea endemic Pygmy Drongo. The placement of this species in the family is highly dubious due to both morphological and genetic differences, and it has recently been placed, along with the closely related Silktail of Fiji, with the fantails (Rhipiduridae).[2] The remaining genus contains the remaining 25 species of drongo.

The family Dicruridae are believed to be most likely of Indo Malayan origin with a colonization of Africa about 15 million years ago. Dispersal across the Wallace Line into Australasia is estimated to have been more recent, around 6 mya.[3]

These insectivorous birds are found in usually open forests or bush. Most are black or dark grey in colour, sometimes with metallic tints. They have long forked tails, and some Asian species have elaborate tail decorations. They have short legs and sit very upright whilst perched, like a shrike. Racket-tailed Drongos are the mimicry artists among birds. They can mimic the sound of other birds and some animals. They flycatch or take prey from the ground.

Two to four eggs are laid in a nest high in a tree. Despite their small size, they are aggressive and fearless, and will attack much larger species if their nest or young are threatened.

The word drongo is used in Australia as a mild form of insult tantamount to the term "idiot", which may refer to the seemingly madcap attacks these birds are prone to launch.


Species of Dicruridae in taxonomic order





























A phylogenetic overview of the family.[3]

Genus Dicrurus

Genus Chaetorhynchus (Now best placed with Rhipiduridae):

Andaman Drongo, Dicrurus andamanensis


  1. ^ Lindsey, Terence (1991). Forshaw, Joseph. ed. Encyclopaedia of Animals: Birds. London: Merehurst Press. pp. 223–224. ISBN 1-85391-186-0. 
  2. ^ Irested, Martin; Fuchs J; Jønsson KA; Ohlson JI; Pasquet E & Per G.P. Ericson (2009). "The systematic affinity of the enigmatic Lamprolia victoriae (Aves: Passeriformes)—An example of avian dispersal between New Guinea and Fiji over Miocene intermittent land bridges?". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 48 (3): 1218–1222. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2008.05.038. PMID 18620871. http://www.nrm.se/download/18.7d9d550411abf68c801800012645/Irestedt%2Bet%2Bal%2BLamprolia.pdf. 
  3. ^ a b Eric Pasquet, Jean-Marc Pons, Jerome Fuchs, Corinne Cruaud, Vincent Bretagnolle (2007) Evolutionary history and biogeography of the drongos (Dicruridae), a tropical Old World clade of corvoid passerines. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 45:158–167

Other sources

Wannan, Bill (1970). Australian Folklore. Lansdowne Press. ISBN 0-7018-1309-1 .

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • drongo — is an Australian slang term used to describe a fool , a stupid person , a simpleton . There is also a bird called a drongo. The spangled drongo is found in northern and eastern Australia, as well as in the islands to the north of Australia, and… …   Australian idioms

  • Drongo — Dron go, n.; pl. {Drongos}. (Zo[ o]l.) A passerine bird of the family {Dicrurid[ae]}. They are usually black with a deeply forked tail. They are natives of Asia, Africa, and Australia; called also {drongo shrikes}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • drongo — ● drongo nom masculin (mot malgache) Passereau de teinte noire des pays tropicaux de l Ancien Monde et d Australie, chassant les insectes à l affût. drongo n. m. ORNITH Passereau de la savane arbustive et de la forêt, au plumage noir, au bec… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • drongo — DRÓNGO s. m. pasăre mică sau mijlocie, răspândită în Africa, Madagascar, India şi nordul Australiei, cu penajul negru metalic şi coada lungă şi înfurcată. (< fr. drongo) Trimis de raduborza, 15.09.2007. Sursa: MDN …   Dicționar Român

  • Drongo — (Edolius Cuv., Dicrurus Vieill.), Gattung der Singvögel aus der Familie der würgerartigen Zahnschnäbler; Schnabel etwas gebogen, platt, niedergedrückt, am Ende ausgekerbt, auf dem Rücken erhaben, an der Wurzel stark behaart, die Nasenlöcher sind… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • drongo — s. m. [Ornitologia] Pássaro dentirrostro …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • Drongo — Dicruridae Dicruridés …   Wikipédia en Français

  • drongo —    An Australian term for a slow witted, stupid person, or in military circles, a raw recruit. ‘Drongo’ is actually an Australian bird name, but Aussie Talk, edited by Arthur Delbridge, suggests that there was a racehorse called Drongo in the… …   A dictionary of epithets and terms of address

  • drongo — drongo1 /drong goh/, n., pl. drongos. any passerine bird of the family Dicruridae, of Africa, Asia, and Australia, the several species usually having black plumage and long, forked tails. [1835 45; < Malagasy] drongo2 /drong goh/, n., pl. drongos …   Universalium

  • Drongo — drongai statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Dicrurus angl. drongo vok. Drongo, m rus. дронго, m pranc. drongo, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – dronginiai siauresnis terminas – andamaninis drongas siauresnis terminas –… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

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