Black Drongo

Dicrurus macrocercus  in हिंदी
Scientific Name:  Dicrurus macrocercus

Name:  Black Drongo

    Local Names:
  • Assamese     ফেঁচু
  • Bengali     কালো ফিঙে, রাজকীয় কাক
  • Bhojpuri     भुजइठा, भुजंगा, भुचेंगड़ा, ठाकुरजी
  • Gujarati     કાળો કોસીટ, કાળીયો કોશી
  • Hindi     कोतवाल, भुजंग
  • Kannada     ಕಾಜಾಣ
  • Malayalam     ആനറാഞ്ചി പക്ഷി
  • Marathi     कोतवाल, काळा गोविंद, गोचिडघुम्मा, काळबाण्या, बाणवा (आदिवासी भाग)
  • Nepali     कालो चिबे
  • Oriya     କଜଳପାତୀ
  • Punjabi     ਕਾਲ ਕਲੀਚੀ
  • Sanskrit     अङ्गारक, धूम्याट
  • Tamil     இரட்டைவால் குருவி, கரிக்குருவி
Contribute Photo

Adult has glossy blue-black or green-black plumage, with semi-translucent primaries visible in flight. Tail is long and deeply forked, and curves out at the end of outer tail feathers. Head is black, with only very small white patch at bill’s commissures. Bill is black. Eyes are reddish. Legs and feet are dark grey. Both sexes are similar.
Juvenile is browner, with white tips to flanks and belly feathers, and brown eyes. It has shorter tail than adults.

Size in cm:

28-28 cm

Size in Inch

11-11 Inch

Primary color:


Secondary color:

blue   (Bird may have more colors)


Black Drongo feeds mainly on insects such as ants and termites, locusts and crickets, beetles, bees, moths and butterflies. It also consumes small reptiles, birds and bats. Black Drongo feeds on flower nectar too, playing an important role in plant pollination.

Habit and habited:

Black Drongo is common in open areas, savannahs and countries. It lives in open forests, habitation, farmlands and slightly wooded habitats, near water. It may be found from sea level to 2000 metres of elevation.


A harsh ti-tiu, and a harsh sheece-cheece-chichuk; pairs duet during the breeding season.

Bird Type:

Perching Birds


The black drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus) is a small Asian passerine bird of the drongo family Dicruridae. It is a common resident breeder in much of tropical southern Asia from southwest Iran through India and Sri Lanka east to southern China and Indonesia. It is an all black bird with a distinctive forked tail and measures 28 cm (11 in) in length. It feeds on insects, and is common in open agricultural areas and light forest throughout its range, perching conspicuously on a bare perch or along power or telephone lines. The species is known for its aggressive behaviour towards much larger birds, such as crows, never hesitating to dive-bomb any bird of prey that invades its territory. This behaviour earns it the informal name of king crow. Smaller birds often nest in the well-guarded vicinity of a nesting black drongo. Previously grouped along with the African fork-tailed drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis), the Asian forms are now treated as a separate species with several distinct populations.

The black drongo has been introduced to some Pacific islands, where it has thrived and become abundant to the point of threatening and causing the extinction of native and endemic bird species there.

This bird is glossy black with a wide fork to the tail. Adults usually have a small white spot at the base of the gape. The iris is dark brown (not crimson as in the similar ashy drongo). The sexes cannot be told apart in the field. Juveniles are brownish and may have some white barring or speckling towards the belly and vent, and can be mistaken for the white-bellied drongo. First-year birds have white tips to the feathers of the belly, while second-years have these white-tipped feathers restricted to the vent.

They are aggressive and fearless birds, and although only 28 cm (11 in) in length, they will attack much larger species that enter their nesting territory, including crows and birds of prey. This behaviour led to their former name of king crow. They fly with strong flaps of the wing and are capable of fast manoeuvres that enable them to capture flying insects. With short legs, they sit upright on thorny bushes, bare perches or electricity wires. They may also perch on grazing animals.

They are capable of producing a wide range of calls but a common call is a two note tee-hee call resembling that of the Shikra (Accipiter badius).

Distribution Map

  •     Resident (inc. local and altitudinal migrants)
  •     Former range (no recent records but may still survive)
  •     Summer visitor (including summer monsoon)
  •     Winter visitor
  •     Passage (autumn and/or spring) visitor
  •     known to be occasional, scarce or erratic
  •     Small isolated population (actual range smaller)  
  •     Isolated record(s) - one or more in the same area  
  •  colour coded for seasonality as per coloured ranges, black denotes unspecified season

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