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Birds

The Spangled Drongo.

This slightly out-of-focus guy flying right down the barrel of the camera is the Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus). There are 29 species of Drongo (Dicruridae) worldwide, but the Spangled Drongo is the only one found in Australia.

We encountered this guy in George Kendall Riverside Park, Ermington. Drongoes will aggressively swoop nearly all other bird species, and this fellow gave himself away by swooping Peewees – and then bravely swooped the camera as pictured above.


The Drongo’s overlapped, forked tail is unmistakable.

He mostly lives in wet forests, though avoids really dense vegetation. He is also known to nest in other woodlands, parks and mangroves. George Kendall Park is bordered by mangroves on the southern edge.

We were treated to a brief fanning of that famous tail:

We read that the Drongo is often silent (as this guy was), but can be “astonishingly” loud, with complex calls, and a call that sounds like a metallic sneeze. Wish we could have heard that!

The adult Drongo has a very blood-red eye; the brownish colour of the eye of this specimen marks it as an immature one.

The bird’s common name derives from the fact that the plumage has blue/green spotted iridescence in bright sunlight – but bright sunlight was sadly lacking on this overcast autumn day. Also, the “spangly-ness” becomes more pronounced in adulthood, so this young one would not have been particularly spangly even in full sun.

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