Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo

Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus remifer ranges northern India to Java, with tectirostris in southeast Tibet, western and southern Yunnan, and southwest Guangxi. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Hunts insects beneath canopy in broadleaved evergreen forests, to 2000 m (6,560 ft.). Generally at higher elevations than Greater Racket-tailed Drongo D. paradiseus. Often in flocks with other insectivores (including Greater Racket-tailed), which it mimics. ID & COMPARISON Medium-sized drongo with amazing elongated outer tail feathers with racket-like pendants. Feathers extend beyond end of square tail up to 40 cm (16 in.) but may be damaged or missing. Has short crest emerging from base of upper mandible and forehead. Extended tail feathers distinguish from all drongos except Greater Racket-tailed; flat crest and square tail separate from Greater. Bronzed Drongo D. aeneus lacks crest and has notched tail. Plumage black with metallic blue or greenish-blue gloss. Face mask, belly, and vent not glossy. Has blue spangles on upper breast, crown, nape and neck. Juvenile duller, lacks rackets. BARE PARTS Bill, feet black; eyes dark reddish-brown. VOICE Whistles, chirrs, and mimicry typical of drongos. — Craig Brelsford


shanghaibirding.com covers every species in China of the monogeneric family Dicruridae. Click any link:

Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aeneus
Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo D.remifer
Crow-billed Drongo D. annectens
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo D. paradiseus
Hair-crested Drongo D. hottentottus
Ashy Drongo D. leucophaeus
Black Drongo D. macrocercus


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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