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.
open country, orchards, cultivation
chiefly insects; supplements with flower nectar, small lizards.
subcontinent, up to about 1,800m in outer Himalaya.
harsh tiu-tiu also cheece cheece.