Birds of the Solstice: Starlings, orioles and a drongo

posted in: Miscellaneous | 2

“On 21st Dec between roughly 5:30-6pm, three groups of birds visited, in succession, the flowering rain trees (Samanea saman) just outside my balcony in Braddell. First there was a group of about five to eight Aisan Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis). Starlings are frequent visitors to these rain trees in flocks.

“Then there was a Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradisus ) who called out with its melodious strains to his buddy, hidden from my view but somewhere nearby. After the drongo came a pair of Black-naped Orioles (Oriolus chinensis), another common visitor to these trees.

“What caught my fancy was the drongo. I’ve always marvelled that the rackets can remain attached to the drongo by such seemingly thin and fragile strands. That solstice evening was windy. As the breeze blew, the drongo perched on a branch with its rackets bending to about 90 degrees behind its back (see attached photo). It was a demonstration of the strength of those strands.”

Patricia Thong
21st December 2008

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