Monday, 21 October 2013

Ashy Drongo - Dicrurus Leucophaeus

My dear friends, spotting the Ashy Drongo (at Lalbagh) was a total surprise for us. This bird flew from one tall tree top to another, sat for a second or so, and then continued its flight. Standing beneath the trees, lifting the head to the sky, and waiting patiently for the bird to sit was painful especially for the neck and eyes. But the fun part was when the bird actually sat and let us have a glimpse of it.
The Ashy Drongo (adult) has dark grey underparts and slate-grey upperparts with red eyes. The tail is forked. We are so used to associate black/black-grey with crow or asian koel, that we may ignore this bird. When in doubt, just wait for a few seconds, listen to the bird's call; will help you identify the bird.
The guide whom we meet at Coorg had told us about the Drongo's ability to imitate calls of other birds. He also imitated the Drongo's call; such talent! In the book, Second Nature: The Inner Lives of Animals, the author explains about why the Drongo imitates other birds. You can read an explanation (excerpt) on Google Books. What a clever bird!
I hope that the next time you visit Lalbagh (or a wooded area), you will maintain silence, and look for this bird or keenly listen to its call.

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