Black Drongo

Conservation status

Least Concern

Population Trend


Alternate Names

King Crow

Native Habitat

Woodland, Scrubland


Insects, Nectar


Black Drongo

Dicrurus macrocercus

The Black Drongo is the small Asian passerine bird of the drongo family. Previously Blak Drongo was considered as a subspecies of the African Fork-tailed Drongo; but it is now recognized as a full species. Geographically, the Fork-tailed Drongo is restricted to Africa, while the Black Drongo is an Asian species.

It is a common resident breeder in much of tropical southern Asia from southwest Iran through India and Sri Lanka east to southern China and Indonesia. Feeding on insects, it is common in open agricultural areas and light forest throughout its range, perching conspicuously on a bare perch or along power or telephone lines.

This bird is glossy black with a wide fork to the tail. Adults usually have a small white spot at the base of the gape. The iris is dark brown. The male and female cannot be told apart in the field. Juveniles are brownish and may have some white barring or speckling towards the belly and vent, and can be mistaken for the White-bellied Drongo. First-year birds have white tips to the feathers of the belly, while second-years have these white-tipped feathers restricted to the vent.

They are aggressive and fearless birds, and although only 30cm in length, they will attack much larger species that enter their nesting territory, including crows and birds of prey. This behaviour led to their former name of King Crow. They fly with strong flaps of the wing and are capable of fast manoeuvres that enable them to capture flying insects.With short legs, they sit upright on thorny bushes, bare perches or electricity wires. They may also perch on grazing animals. Smaller birds often nest in the well guarded vicinity of a nesting Black Drongo.

Regional Names
  • Assamese:
  • Bengali:
    কালো ফিঙে, রাজকীয় কাক
  • Bhojpuri:
    भुजइठा, भुजंगा, भुचेंगड़ा, ठाकुरजी
  • Gujarati:
    કાળો કોસીટ, કાળીયો કોશી
  • Hindi:
    कोतवाल, भुजंग
  • Kannada:
  • Malayalam:
    ആനറാഞ്ചി പക്ഷി
  • Marathi:
    कोतवाल, काळा गोविंद, गोचिडघुम्मा, काळबाण्या, बाणवा (आदिवासी भाग)
  • Nepali:
    कालो चिबे
  • Oriya:
  • Punjabi:
    ਕਾਲ ਕਲੀਚੀ
  • Sanskrit:
    अङ्गारक, धूम्याट
  • Tamil:
    இரட்டைவால் குருவி, கரிக்குருவி
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Dicrurus macrocercus

Quick Facts
  • It is considered as a friend of farmer as they feed on large number of insects.