The Drongo and the Roller… a territorial battle.

The Fork tailed Drongo is an aggressive and fearless birds, given their small size, and will attack much larger species, including birds of prey if their nest or young are threatened.

Observations show that the Fork-tailed Drongo in Africa are capable of using deceptive mimicked alarm calls to steal food from birds like pied babblers and animals such as meerkats.

Fork-tailed Drongos spend a quarter of their time following other animals. Sometimes when a predator is approaching, drongos act as sentries and warn their neighbours with genuine alarm calls.

But drongos also earn quarter of their daily calories by acting like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” and sound a false alarm when the other animal finds food. When the meerkats and babblers flee from the non-existent predator, the drongo steals their food.

He will also attack and try to frighten other birds into leaving an area where it is feeding, specially birds that feed on similar foods to it. The Purple Roller is in direct competition for food with the Drongo, so they will try to get them to flee…. in this case unsuccessfully….

The Drongo……

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The fly passed…

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The Attack….

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and then the return to perch after an unsuccessful attempt…..

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77 thoughts on “The Drongo and the Roller… a territorial battle.

  1. Great action shots. You must have remarkable patience to sit and watch and wait.
    I caught something similiar (unfortunately not on camera) this week – a robin chasing a squirrel. I don’t know that that squirrel did, but the robin was mighty angry about it. Nope – no peace and tranquility in the wild life 🙂

  2. Wow! You surely captured it so wonderful Rob! I love how the little Roller sit there with no care in the world and here this beautiful red-eye menace wants to steal his food and he totally ignores him. hahahaha. Good for him! Great sequence! Loved it! 😀

  3. Great action shots Bulldog! So glad to see you out shooting beautiful images again as I feel certain this is the recipe for full recovery for you. 🙂

  4. We’ve got a bird in the US that does something similar, the mockingbird. I don’t know about it’s eating routines but it will go after any bird and attack. I recently saw one go after a hawk and was surprised it didn’t become dinner. Great capture!

  5. Great series. Isn’t it exciting when you capture a unique experience like one bird attacking another.

    • That it is Vicki… I think that’s why we keep taking more photos of birds that we have already captured,,, it’s waiting for that special happening…

  6. Good you caught this action on camera, and Interesting tactics by the Drongo. Yesterday, I was watching a television programme about internal workings at Gatwick airport (one of London’s busiest). As no doubt most airports do, they use similar tactics to scare birds away. A computer screen in an Inspector’s vehicle is used to identify the bird in question, and then appropriate danger noise is sounded off. Unfortunately, if this doesn’t work they have to resort to the gun.

  7. We’ve established that I love the Roller. And I didn’t know he was such a little would-be thief! And the antics of the Drongo are just fascinating to me. I’m just amazed at the action you not only observe, but what you’re able to photograph. This is wonderful!

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