Nests of Greater and Lesser Racquet-tailed Drongos

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Drongo nests are fragile-looking structures built around a fork of a branch of a tree. It is a shallow cup made up of plant materials that can include pliable stems that include grass and creepers, fibres, tendrils, leaf skeletons

Wells (2007) has reported on the nests of a few species. The nest of one Ashy Drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) was camouflaged on the outside with lichens and bryophytes and felted with cobwebs.

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Greater Racquet-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradisus) is common in the forested areas of Singapore. The nest is built high up in the thin branches of a tall tree (above). According to Wells, it is “a cradle slung through the rim from terminal twigs or prongs of a horizontal fork towards the outer end of a branch, quite often in an area bare of leaves…” Cobwebs are used to bind the nest to the branch. It is described as a fairly open lattice, the contents of which can be seen from below. The nest cop measures 7.7-9.0 cm across by 3.8-5.1 cm deep.

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The Lesser Racquet-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus remifer) is a montane species seen at Fraser’s Hill in Peninsular Malaysia. The nest is more or less similar to that of the Greater Racquet-tailed and Wells describes it as “lined with fine fibre and felted and further secured externally with cobwebs” (above). It measures 7 cm across by 4 cm deep.

A full clutch consists of two to three eggs. Up to three chicks may fledge. During the breeding period these birds are fierce and aggressive.

Morten Strange & YC Wee
Singapore
March 2008

11148.jpg Images from the book “A Passion for Birds” courtesy of Ong Kiem Sian.

Reference:
Wells, D.R. (2007). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London.

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