February 3, 2015 – Fork-tailed Drongo, Common Drongo, African Drongo, or Savanna Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis)

The Fork-tailed Drongo is a jay-sized songbird found in southern Africa. They are insectivorous and feed mainly on grubs and beetles foraged from the savanna shrubs. Some animals, including meerkats and starlings, rely on these birds as an early warning system for predators, hiding at the sound of a drongo’s alarm call. Drongos have learned to exploit this behavior. When they see an animal that has found food, they may issue a warning call, causing it to drop the food so the drongo can steal it. Sometimes the animals learn that the drongo’s call should not be trusted. At this point, the drongo often begins imitating the distress calls of other animals, allowing it to continue stealing food.

Advertisements