Dicrurus bracteatus

Dicrurus bracteatus (Spangled Drongo)

(Spangled Drongo)




Dicrurus bracteatus

Common name(s)

Spangled Drongo, Fishtail, King Crow

Main colour(s)

Black with Dark Blue


28 – 32cm


Orpheus Island Research Station




Recognisable from its swift erratic flight, dark black-blue plumage and bright-red eye, this nectar eating bird is Australia’s one representative of the Dicruridae family. Juveniles are more of a smokey black colour with a brown eye and scattered white spots and blobs on the underwing.

Found singly, in pairs or in migratory flocks. It is noisy and pugnacious and feeds mainly off insects caught on the wing but can also take nectar from blossoms when breeding. The courting male performs an unusual dance flight, climbing to about 30m before diving with wings arched back and tailed cocked calling. It builds a delicate basket-shaped nest made from twigs and vine tendrils bound together with spiders web laying 3-5 pinkish eggs and has a tendency to return annually to the same nest site (Pizzey, 1986).

Sites where this species can be found at OIRS

An annual migrant to OIRS generally arriving around April – May each year

Research that has been undertaken at OIRS