Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Spangled Drongos

This post is for World Bird Wednesday.

Over the last few weeks I have had a number of Spangled Drongos (Dicrurus bracteatus) in and around my yard.  These birds are so noisy that you certainly can't miss them but I found it difficult to get good photos of them.  The fish-tail and the red eye are distinctive and I certainly could get plenty of photos of them in silhouette against the light but I wanted to show the beautiful sheen on their wings and the spangles (blue-green iridescent spots) down their front.  I would slowly and quietly move towards a tree where I had just seen one fly then hear the harsh cackling sound of several sitting somewhere behind me.  That harsh cackle sounds to me like a "birdy" laugh - at my expense I am sure!  I am always listening for bird song around my house and when I hear a new song/sound I hurry outside to identify it.  Spangled Drongos are great mimics and I have been fooled a number of times recently.  The only give-away is that - even though they seem able to pitch their voices wherever they want them up and down the scale-  they always have the same vocal quality somewhere in their calls.  Yesterday I heard a new call and realized they were copying the alarm call of the Spur-winged Plovers (or Masked Lapwings!).  At least they haven't - Yet! - been copying the screech of the cockatoos!
This last photo shows some of the spangles down the front and also the 'crest' of feathers on the side of the head which they seem able to raise whenever they wish.


31 comments:

  1. I have been thinking of having a post on Drongos too:)Sometime soon I hope..they are indeed noisy birds..you've still captured them very well.Have a great day!

    Shantana

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  2. the remind me of our grackles, except the grackles have piercing yellow eyes. these are great!

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  3. Those eyes, especially in #3, are incredible. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  4. I admire how well you captured the bird's eye in each of these photos.

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  5. Fantastic to see and read about Mick... a great post.

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  6. Cool looking birds, I love the eyes. Great shots.

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  7. I was listening to crows while sitting on my front porch yesterday - talk about noisy. :)
    This is quite an attractive bird. You got some great shots and I like the tree needles and the blue sky made an interesting background.

    Thanks for coming by today.

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  8. A very interesting bird, it looks similar to our grackles which also have that iridescent sheen to their feathers. Grackles are quite noisy as well!

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  9. What a striking bird! I love the red eyes!

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  10. These are great shots of the Spangled Drongos Mick! I think you have done well catching their iridescence and the red eye.

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  11. reminds me of some our local birds...love 3rd shot. Wonder what kind of noise they would make.

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  12. awesome captures....i love those red eyes!!

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  13. Beautiful picture series you run. Wishing you a good day :) Hanne Bent / hbt.finus.dk

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  14. I think you captured the spngles Mick, especially in that second shot. What a great name by the way - just rolls off the tongue. As great mimics they may be related to orioles but I dont know because we dont get any drongos here in the UK.

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  15. Nice pictures.

    I'm under no illusions that the birds around my accommodation were really wild - but it does make them easier to photograph!

    Stewart M

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  16. Wonderful shots of bird of great clarity.

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  17. Beautiful bird! Well done, Mick.

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  18. Beautiful images of the red-eyed bird, Mick! I can imagine you don't want them imitating the screeching of parrots, but may be you can teach them to laugh like human?

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  19. Iv'e never seen or heard of these birds before, Mick! That red eye is incredible and the spangles on their neck and head is so bright & shiny. Great captures!!
    (I've posted the other 3 birds from my Wynnum waterfront visit)

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  20. such an interesting bird. Would love to see it in person. And your whots are great. :) Thanks for the info.

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  21. What a beautiful bird and those eyes!! Happy WBW!!

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  22. Beautiful bird with piercing red eyes! Nice captures!

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  23. Mimics can play some real tricks. I have a Northern Mockingbird at work that does a great Killdeer. The give away is the shorebird calling from the top of a tree :)
    Nice pictures and you did get a good sheen and spangles.

    cheers.

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  24. Very interesting bird. Love the red eyes. Great captures!!

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  25. We only have the black drongos here. The spangled ones are lovely...and I loved your photos!

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  26. Beautiful birds, Mick. It is so difficult to capture refracted and reflected colors of black birds. Photos just do not do them justice.

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  27. What a cool bird! Love those shots of them in the interesting vegetation.

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  28. I think your shots are great. Like the narrative also. I was not familiar with these birds.

    Thanks for visiting my bird post. Sorry to be a bit behind on my blog hopping. I do so appreciate your nice comment

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  29. What funny birds! Wonderful pictures (I love to see birds' eyes -- and these are incredible.)

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