Fork tailed drongo perched on a branch


Drongos are a family of Old World perching birds found in open tropical forests and woodlands. Most of the 25 species have black or dark-grey plumage, sometimes with a glossy metallic sheen and complex tail shapes that include long forks. They tend to hunt by quietly perching before launching themselves after any unsuspecting insects that pass. Nesting high in trees, drongos can be very aggressive when defending their young and territories, even when faced with much larger birds such as cuckoo-hawks.

Drongos can perform complex vocalisations – in fact, a drongo was filmed for the Africa series mimicking meerkats’ warning calls to send them scurrying away, leaving a free meal for the drongo. You can watch the Kalahari’s greatest trickster below.

Scientific name: Dicruridae

Rank: Family

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The Drongos can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Madagascar. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Drongos distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web