Close up in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
The Ashy Drongo, Dicrurus leucophaeus, is a small Asian bird. The drongos are passerines restricted to the Old World tropics. They were previously classed as the family Dicruridae, but that has been much enlarged to include a number of largely Australasian groups, such as the Australasian fantails, monarchs and paradise flycatchers.
The Ashy Drongo breeds in the hills of tropical southern Asia from eastern Afghanistan east to southern China and Indonesia. Many populations are migratory. For example, the birds that breed in the Himalayas leave the mountains and winter in peninsular India and Sri Lanka.
This species is usually found in hill forests and winters in similar well-wooded habitats. Three or four eggs are laid in a cup nest in a tree. These are aggressive and fearless birds, 29 cm in length, and will attack much larger species if their nest or young are threatened.
The adult Ashy Drongo is mainly dark grey, and the tail is long and deeply forked, There are a number of subspecies varying in the shade of the grey plumage. Some also have white markings on the head. Young birds are dull brownish grey.
The Ashy Drongo has short legs and sits very upright while perched prominently, like a shrike. It is insectivorous.