Drongo (Family: Dicruridae) - Wiki
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[Photo] Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus hottentottus) in Carins, QLD, Australia. Photo Dr. David Midgley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:MidgleyDJ)
The drongos are a subfamily of small passerine birds of the Old World tropics. They were previously classed as the family Dicruridae, but that has been much enlarged to include a number of largely Australasian groups, such as the Australasian fantails, monarchs and paradise flycatchers.
These insect-eating birds are found in usually open forests or bush. Most are black or dark grey in colour, sometimes with metallic tints. They have long forked tails, and some Asian species have elaborate tail decorations. They have short legs and sit very upright whilst perched, like a shrike. They flycatch or take prey from the ground.
Two to four eggs are laid in a nest high in a tree. These are aggressive and fearless birds, given their small size, and drongos will attack much larger species if their nest or young are threatened.
Species of Dicruriniae in taxonomic order
Pygmy Drongo, Chaetorhynchus papuensis
Square-tailed Drongo, Dicrurus ludwigii
Shining Drongo, Dicrurus atripennis
Fork-tailed Drongo, Dicrurus adsimilis
Pr??ncipe Drongo, Dicrurus modestus
Aldabra Drongo, Dicrurus aldabranus
Comoro Drongo, Dicrurus fuscipennis
Crested Drongo, Dicrurus forficatus
Mayotte Drongo, Dicrurus waldenii
Black Drongo, Dicrurus macrocercus
Ashy Drongo, Dicrurus leucophaeus
White-bellied Drongo, Dicrurus caerulescens
Crow-billed Drongo, Dicrurus annectans
Bronzed Drongo, Dicrurus aeneus
Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Dicrurus remifer
Hair-crested Drongo, Dicrurus hottentottus
Balicassiao, Dicrurus balicassius
Sulawesi Drongo, Dicrurus montanus
Sumatran Drongo, Dicrurus sumatranus
Wallacean Drongo, Dicrurus densus
Ribbon-tailed Drongo, Dicrurus megarhynchus
Spangled Drongo, Dicrurus bracteatus
Andaman Drongo, Dicrurus andamanensis
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Dicrurus paradiseus
In Australian culture
In Australian slang, "drongo" means a loser or idiot. As in most slang the meaning changes with the way it is said. In the Bush Dance, sometimes called the Drongo, the person who misses out on a partner (musical chairs style) becomes 'the drongo' for the next time through the dance and is the butt of a gentle humorous use of the word. On the other hand, a waiter who spills hot soup in a customer's lap may hear a distinctly vitriolic use!
The Drongo was a racehorse probably named after the bird. It raced in the 1920s and was deemed unlucky never to have come better than second in thirty-seven starts.
"Drongo" was used in the RAAF during World War II to denote raw recruits.
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