Concentration of White-Bellied Drongo
White-Bellied Drongo is a species of drongo found only on the Indian Subcontinent in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Like other members of the family Dicruridae.
Colour of White-Bellied Drongo
White-Bellied Drongo is insectivorous and is mainly black in colour but with a white belly and vent. Young birds are, however, all black and can be confused with the black drongo, although smaller and more compact in appearance, and the subspecies found in Sri Lanka has white restricted to the vent.
Structure of White-Bellied Drongo
White-Bellied Drongo is black without any glossy on the upperside and greyish on the throat and breast while the belly and vent are entirely white in the Indian form which is the nominate subspecies. The fork of the tail is less deep than in the black drongo which is often seen in the same habitats. The Young black White-Bellied Drongo can have a lot of white on the underside but it is usually scaly in appearance. The Sri Lankan forms insularis of the northern dry zone and leucopygialis of the southern wet zone have the white restricted to the vent. The White-Bellied Drongo which is less than a year old lack the white on the underside but are browner above and greyish below.
Size of White-Bellied Drongo
The size of White-Bellied Drongo varies clonally with northern birds that are larger. The extent of white on the underside also declines with size although there is a lot of local variation. The Sri Lankan forms leucopygialis and insularis are darker than the Indian form and there is some intergradation within the Sri Lankan forms. The species is believed to be closely related to Dicrurus leucophaeus but has not been confirmed with molecular sequence studies.
Distribution of White-Bellied Drongo
White-Bellied Drongo is a resident breeder in India and Sri Lanka. This species is usually found in dry scrub or open forests. The distribution is restricted to peninsular India south of the Himalayas and to the west of the Gangetic delta bounded on the west by the Aravalli Mountain Ranges in Rajasthan.
Behaviour of White-Bellied Drongo
White-Bellied Drongo is often seen singly or in groups of up to three individuals, sometimes joining mixed-species foraging flocks. They perch upright close to the top of trees and capture insects in the air with short aerobatic sallies. Larger insects may be captured using their claws.
Call of White-Bellied Drongo
The song of White-Bellied Drongo is a series of staccato notes interspersed with clear notes and may include mimicry of other bird calls.
Breeding Season of White-Bellied Drongo
The breeding season of White-Bellied Drongo is from February to July. The cup nest is similar to that of the black drongo but is usually made up of more twigs and is well lined with grass. Two to four eggs, pale salmon coloured with reddish blotches on the broad end, are laid in the nest which may be 20 to 30 feet high in the fork of a tree. These are aggressive at the nest and can be potential threats much larger than themselves. When mobbing they have been observed to imitate the alarm calls of squirrels or the mewing of a cat and is known to join to mixed-species foraging flocks.
Feeding of White-Bellied Drongo
White-Bellied Drongos are primarily insectivorous in nature and they are opportunistic and are known to prey on small birds. Like other Drongos, White-Bellied Drongo use their feet while handling their prey. They have been known to take insects attracted to artificial lights late at dusk. They also visit large flowers for nectar, particularly Salmalia and Erythrina.
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