Spangled Drongo – a noisy and conspicuous bird

Spangled Drongo

Spangled Drongo – forked tail and crimson eyes

Spangled Drongo is a beautiful black bird with bright red eyes and intensively blue spots on its chest. It has a characteristic fork like tail and is known for its sharp calling sound. It likes to imitate kingfisher sounds. Occasionally it makes loud, entertaining calls that sound like ‘sneeze’.

The bird is feeding on insects and small vertebrates. Sometimes they look comical when they swoop and perch in search of small insects, small birds and occasionally, small skinks.

Interestingly it can be tamed easily. When it visits urban areas seasonally you can throw small pieces of raw meat into the air and the bird will accurately swoop and catch it mid-air.

In late spring they often migrate to areas around Brisbane in Queensland to nest and they leave with their juveniles in mid-summer. 

Spangled Drongo is found throughout northern and eastern Australia. It lives in woodland areas. We were lucky to spot it during our numerous trips to Port Douglas.

Where spotted: Port Douglas, QLD 

The unsuccessful racehorse Drongo was named after the bird and led to the Australian slang insult “drongo” meaning ‘idiot’.


Spangled Drongo – more information

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