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Fork-tailed Drongo

Afrikaans name: Mikstertbyvanger

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Fork-tailed Drongo

Photo © Steven Herbert

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Fork-tailed Drongo showing the distinctive tail shape that gives it its common name

Photo © Steven Herbert

Dicrurus adsimilis

The Fork-tailed Drongo is a well-known bird. It is known by a variety of names in other countries including African Drongo and Common Drongo.

There are two similar birds found in South Africa, the Black Flycatcher and Black Cuckooshrike, but the deeply forked tail identifies this one.

Males are more glossy than females but this isn't always easy to see. They make their nest in the fork of a tree - normally high up. Up to 4 eggs are laid.

Fork-tailed Drongos feed on insects. They perch on an exposed branch and watch for signs of movement. They can commonly be seen accompanying some species of game such as Rhinos. The Rhino disturbs the insects which are then caught by the Drongo.

These birds can be quite aggressive towards predators particularly birds of prey.

Fork-tailed Drongo at Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve

Photo © Steven Herbert

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