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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Fork-tailed Drongo

Fork-tailed Drongo, Common Drongo, African Drongo, or Savannah Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis),

This is a difficult bird to get a good photo of.. the eye is dark red and with the black colouring it always appears as though it has no eyes…

The Fork-tailed Drongo is a common and widespread resident breeder in Africa south of the Sahara. These insect-eating birds are usually found in open forests or bush.

These are aggressive and fearless birds, given their small size, and will attack much larger species, including birds of prey. The male is mainly glossy black, although the wings are duller. It is large-headed and has the forked tail which gives the species its name. The female is similar but less glossy. The bill is black and heavy, and the eye is red.

The Fork-tailed Drongo is 20 cm long. It has short legs and sits very upright whilst perched, like a shrike. It fly catches, or takes prey from the ground and if there’s a bush fire you find it there.

I actually managed to get the eye in the photo on the left…

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