Ashy Drongo

A dull black bird, much more duller than Black with a long, forked tail and greyer underparts. No spot at base of bill and and vivid red irises. Tail fork usually deeper and more splayed. Juvenile greyer. Partly crepuscular. Hunts mainly aerial insects from bare branches in tree-tops. Usually solitary, in pairs or small parties. Noisy and bold, attacking passing raptors and corvids in particular. As with all drongos, other small birds often nest near them for protection. Nests high in tree.

White-bellied Drongo

Sexes alike, blackish-blue above; longish, forked tail; grey-brown throat, breast; white belly, under tail-coverts. Pairs or small bands of up to four birds, sometimes in association with other birds: arboreal and noisy; makes short flights after winged insects; often hunts till very late in evening.

Black Drongo

Sexes alike. Glossy black plumage; long, deeply forked tail. Diagnostic white spot at base of bill. The Ashy Drongo D. leucophaeus (30cm) is grey-black, and more of a forest bird, breeding in Himalaya and a winter visitor to the peninsula. Usually solitary, sometimes small parties; keeps lookout from exposed perch; most common bird seen on rail and road travel in India; drops to ground to capture prey; launches short aerial sallies; rides atop grazing cattle; follows cattle, tractors, grass-cutters, fires; thus consumes vast numbers of insects; bold and aggressive species, with several birds nesting in same tree.