Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday 99 - Spangled Drongo

I dont suppose that there are many birds that have given rise to a term of abuse - but it would seem that the Spangled Drongo is one of them.

I certainly knew the tern Drongo as an insult as a kid - and apparently it originates from the name of a horse (which was named after the bird!) which never really manage to be that good! As my book on the origin of Australia bird names says a drongo would be used for a person who was an honest trier who never really made it.  I must admit, I always found it to be an insult tinged with a bit of affection!

Enough of this - on to the bird.  The Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus) is about 30 cm long, with a stunning red eye.  It can be frantically active (which the horse named after it was not!) and has a fan shaped tail - its described in my field guide as a "fish tail".  These shots we're taken on Magnetic island a while ago - and it was one of the few times I saw these birds perched.



If you enlarge the images you can just start to see the "spangling" in the neck feathers.  Taking pictures of basically black birds against the sky is never the easiest of tasks.  The strange looking objects "floating" on the LHS of the pictures are seeds (I think) caught in spider webs.

Next week WBW will be 100!  So, I will be reposting a selection of my favourite images.

I assume that you all know the drill from here on - but if not, click on the button below and off you go into the wild world of WBW!

49 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

a striking bird with red eye and fish tail! wasn't familiar with the term drongo. :)

Modesto Viegas said...

Good capture!!!

Karen said...

Cool looking bird, love the red eyes! Aussie slang is quite interesting.

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Well, I can say I have never called anyone a Drongo and hope I never do, but will keep that word in my inventory just in the event that the opportunity may arrive. Yes, I see the spangles on the enlarged version. Happy "almost" anniversary. I may be on the road this time next week and actually out of cell phone and Internet range for the better part of the following three weeks.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Impressive tail on that bird and I love his eyes. I can just about hear the tone of voice a person would use when calling someone a "drongo". I kind of want to use it... (but definitely not a term anyone I know would be familiar with. Especially the ones I want to use it on!).

Sharon Wagner said...

That red eye is hard to miss. Pretty cool bird.

Jo said...

Those seeds floating in the background of the photo are phenomenal! Your drongo is stunning. We have the Fork-tailed Drongo and it also makes a good photo subject. Thanks for the explanation about the name. I will link to your post tomorrow (Wednesday in East Africa!) Greetings, Jo

Findlay Wilde said...

That red eye really makes the bird stand out. From Findlay

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Love the red eye and the forked tail. Enjoyed reading your narration too, Stewart.

Helma said...

What a beautiful bird standing between them.
Very nice blog and great links.

Greetings, Helma

Gunilla Bäck said...

A very handsome bird with striking red eyes.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Wow Stewart that's an incredible beautiful bird. And that red eye is amazing!! Gives is a powerful and unique presence.

Andrea Priebe said...

Try as I may, I can't see any Spangling. I will have to take your word for it that it is there. As for the "Drongo", I have to take exception ... he is anything but that. We have nothing like him here and I think he is quite beautiful ... and you say he is anything but lazy, so the "Drongo" part has to go. You really must speak to the poeple who are coming up with these names. Surely they can do better. I can't wait to see your pictures next week ... hard to believe it has been 100 weeks. Time flies when you're having fun. Have a great week, Stewart.

Andrea @ From The Sol

Christian Weiß said...

Drongos are beautiful birds, I know the Fork Tailed Drongo from Africa, they fast insect hunters.

mick said...

Great photos of an interesting bird. They stay around my place all winter.

Pieni Lintu said...

Very sharp looking little guy. :)

eileeninmd said...

Stewart, cool looking black bird. I love the red eyes. I looked hard for the spangling, is it on the front of the neck? Great shots, thanks for hosting. Wishing you a happy week!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

that eye and webbed tail are awesome.

Carole M. said...

fish-tail .. the Spangled Drongos great to see; good catches Stewart

Frank said...

No derogatory words from me, I think it's a very handsome species.

Marie said...

I LOVE his tail shape and that lovely red eye against his black feathers. he's a stunning bird...have no idea why he would be maligned!

Brian King said...

The name is indeed strange, but the bird is gorgeous! Love the red eyes and that curved tail!

Minoru Saito said...

Hi! Nice captures.Lovely red eyes! Thanks for sharing.

babsjeheron said...

There's an elegance to your photos, Stewart, and I like the clean crisp lines of the drongo in your bottom photo, plus what a striking red eye against the black feathers.

orchid Miyako said...

Oh, what an impressive bird!!! Red eyes are lovely♡♡♡ Thank you very much for hosting.

Sincerely from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

pattisjarrett said...

The red eyes and fish tail make for a distinctive-looking bird.

Karen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carletta said...

Striking bird and photo Stewart! Like others I can't help but notice the bright eye and fish tail. Wonderful composition of photos!

Small City Scenes said...

Interesting bird and interesting comments about the word 'drongo'. I am chuckling. MB

Chris Rohrer said...

A lovely bird that reminds somewhat of a Bronzed Cowbird:)

Irma said...

Beautiful photos of the bird, the red eyes are awesome.
Very well done, Stewart
Greetings Irma

karenpezz said...

These birds are great and you have photographed them really well, black is a hard colour.

Arija said...

Just like the satin bower-bird, it is so hard to capture that shimmer of colour. Nice shots though showing the red eye and fish-tail.

i stora drag said...

Exciting with its red eyes!
Greetings Pia

cobie en bas van Es said...

hij staat er mooi op ,wat kijkt hij streng.

Rustic Vintage Country said...

Love those red eyes!

Phil Slade said...

As you might imagine I never heard the uncomplmentary term "Drongo" here in the UK, but you will remember some equivalents I'm sure. And maybe find some new age ones when you come over?

I saw drongos in India. cant remember which but I don't think they were this red-eyed variety.

Congrats on the almost 100 Stewart.

Lois said...

I like that red eye on this bird. This is another new bird for me!

Naquillity said...

that red eye certainly stands out, doesn't it? what a beautiful bird with its fishtail. your bird reminds me of our grackles minus red eye, of course. hope all is well. have a great day~

LadyD Piano said...

Red Eye on Magnetic Island would make a good book title. Great photos!

June Caedmon said...

He's beautiful, Stewart! Wonderful captures - love that tail!

Gary Phillips said...

Love those eyes!! Boom, Bobbi and Gary.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Wow - fantastic bird. Thanks for the lesson - and the photos.

Max-e said...

It looks very similar to our Fork-tailed Drongo. Nice shots.

A Quiet Corner said...

Oh, Stewart, your photo puts mine to shame! Yet, mine will, I'll bet, make you smile...:)JP

Montanagirl said...

That bird is pretty eye-catching with that red eye and its fish tail!

bailey-road.com said...

Very cool bird, Stewart.

Christian Perrin said...

Wonderful photos of this striking bird! I didn't know the horsey origin of its name, but I've also heard that 'Drongo' is a put-down of intelligence because for some reason, a small population of these birds migrate SOUTH for the winter, into colder climates.

Pat Tillett said...

It is a nice looking bird and the red eyes really are striking.
Nice photos Stewart.