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Ashy Drongo | Birds And Me

Ashy Drongo


Ashy Drongo

Scientific Name:  Dicrurus leucophaeus

Ashy Drongo image

Ashy Drongo  Photo by:  Guru Prasad

Bird Type:  Perching Birds    1091  Views


The ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) is a medium sized drongo, measuring 25 to 30 cm in length and weighing 40 to 55 grams.
The ashy drongo species have gray plumage, varying in shades among the subspecies. Some subspecies have whitish markings on the head and body. The underparts are paler than the upperparts. The tail is long and deeply forked.
The bill is black and the tip of the upper mandible is hooked. The irises are red. There is a red eye-ring. The legs are short and dark gray.


  • 29-29 cm

  • 11-11 Inch

  • black

  • gray  (Bird may have more colors)
  •    રાખોડી કોસીટ
  •    Drongo cendré
  •    കാക്കത്തമ്പുരാൻ
  •    राखाडी कोतवाल
  •    ध्वाँसे चिबे
  •    கரிச்சான்

These ashy drongo species have low forest dependence. They normally occur in altitudes from 0 to 2400 meters. The artificial ecosystems and habitats of these species include rural gardens, plantations, agricultural lands and heavily degraded forests.
The natural ecosystems and habitats of these drongo species include tropical and subtropical moist montane forests, foothill forests, temperate forests, lowland forests, dry savanna, mangroves, dry shrublands and moist shrublands.


The diet of these ashy drongo species consists mainly of insects. Flying insects, dragonflies, moths, beetles, winged termites and ants, grasshoppers, crickets, cicadas, locust and insect larvae are their primary food.
These ashy drongo species are also known to feed on nectar, small lizards, small mammals, eggs and hatchlings. They perch on prominent places and make aerial sallies to catch the prey. They also glean their prey from the foliage.


Like Black but more varied, includes a whistling kil-ki-kil.


The ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) is a species of bird in the drongo family Dicruridae. It is found widely distributed across South and Southeast Asia with several populations that vary in the shade of grey, migration patterns and in the size or presence of white patches around the eye.

The adult ashy drongo is mainly dark grey, and the tail is long and deeply forked, There are a number of subspecies varying in the shade of the grey plumage. Some subspecies have white markings on the head. Young birds are dull brownish grey.

Subspecies longicaudatus of India (which includes beavani of the Himalayas that winters on the peninsula, with one breeding population in central India that Vaurie separates as longicaudatus in the restricted sense) is very dark and almost like the black drongo although this bird is slimmer and has a somewhat longer and less-splayed tail. It is found in more tall forest habitat, has dark grey underside lacking the sheen of black drongo. The iris is crimson and there is no white rictal spot. Subspecies leucogenis and salangensis have a white eye-patch as do several of the island forms that breed further south. The calls are a little more nasal and twangy than that of the black drongo.

The ashy drongo has short legs and sits very upright while perched prominently, often high on a tree. It is insectivorous and forages by making aerial sallies but sometimes gleans from tree trunks. They are found singly, in pairs or small groups. During migration they fly in small flocks.

A common call that they make is described as drangh gip or gip-gip-drangh. They can imitate the calls of other birds and are capable of imitating the whistling notes of a common iora.

The breeding season is May to June with a clutch of three or four reddish or brown eggs laid in a loose cup nest in a tree.

    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



Location:, Dhandeli, karnataka

Photo by:  Guru Prasad