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Animals

Kidadl Team

AUGUST 27, 2021

Did You Know? 15 Incredible Ashy Drongo Facts

Ashy drongo facts about this bird's description are fascinating to read about.

The ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) is a species of medium-sized, slim birds belonging to the family Dicrurudae. The ashy drongo is mainly dark gray in color and has bright, crimson eyes. The ashy drongo subspecies such as the leucogenis, salangensis, longicaudatus vary in shade as well as migration patterns. The populations of the ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) can be found in hill forests in tropical southern Asia with several populations in eastern Afghanistan east to southern China, Indonesia, and Japan. Adult ashy drongos are gray and the tail is long and forked. Young ashy drongos are dull, brownish-gray in color. These birds are partially migratory in nature and migrate towards peninsular India and Sri Lanka from the Himalayas during the winters. This species of bird preys on insects, small mammals, lizards and are known to forage through aerial sallies and gleaning from tree trunks. Ashy drongos closely resemble black drongos in appearance but are slimmer and have different bird calls.

Keep reading to know more about this fascinating crimson-eyed bird found all across South and Southeast Asia. If you like reading about drongos, be sure to check out fork-tailed drongo facts and drongo facts.

Ashy Drongo Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an ashy drongo?

The ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) is a type of bird.

What class of animal does an ashy drongo belong to?

The ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) belongs to class Aves, genus Dicrurus, and family Dicruridae.

How many ashy drongos are there in the world?

The total population of ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) birds in the world is not known. However, throughout the Indian subcontinent, the population is estimated to be about 10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and about 1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in China.

Where does an ashy drongo live?

The ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) species can be found all over India, Bhutan, eastern Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Southeast Asia, and China. This bird is not endemic.

What is an ashy drongo's habitat?

The ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) can be found in large numbers in altitudes between 0-7874 ft (0-2400 m). Forests such as the foothill forests, temperate forests, mangroves, and lowland forests provide the ideal habitat for these birds. The drongo ashy also inhabits rural gardens, degraded forests, and agricultural lands at times.

Who do ashy drongos live with?

The ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) can be found in pairs, small groups, or at times even being solitary. During migration though, drongo ashy birds prefer flying in small flocks.

How long does an ashy drongo live?

The longevity of the ashy drongo species unfortunately is not known. More research needs to be done to get a rough estimate regarding their lifespan.

How do they reproduce?

These birds are monogamous in nature. The breeding season usually lasts between May and June in the Indian subcontinent. The adult ashy drongo breeds in the hills. The nest is built by the male and the female. The cup-shaped nest is mostly located on tree branches and made using plant fibers, twigs, grass, and leaves. Approximately three to four pale reddish-brown eggs are laid in the nest. Incubation is undertaken by both parents and lasts for about two weeks.

What is their conservation status?

The ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) bird has been evaluated as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Even though they have been listed as Least Concern, agricultural expansion, pet-trade, habitat destruction, and habitat alteration pose a serious threat to their population.

Ashy Drongo Fun Facts

What do ashy drongos look like?

An adult ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) is a medium-sized bird that is mainly dark gray in color. This bird is widely distributed across South Asia and its vibrant, crimson eyes with no white rictal spot make it stand out. They have a long and deeply forked tail. They have a black bill and hooked upper mandible and short, dark gray legs. These birds vary in the shade of gray plumage between the subspecies. Some of them also have white markings on the head. Young birds are dull and have a brownish-gray plumage. The ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) subspecies present in India are slim and have a dark gray plumage that almost appears to be black in color.

The subspecies Salangensis and Leucogenis can be distinguished from the Longicaudatus due to their white eye patch.

The description of an ashy drongo bird is interesting to learn about.

How cute are they?

The vibrant, striking crimson-colored eyes against their gray plumage makes the ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) species look really intriguing. However, some might find this bird to be a bit intimidating at times, unlike hummingbirds.

How do they communicate?

The ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) species of bird communicates through bird calls which make a sound of 'drangh gip' or 'gip gip drangh'. The drongo ashy bird can also imitate whistling notes and calls of birds such as the common iora.

How big is an ashy drongo?

An adult ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) bird is a medium-sized bird and has a length of 9.8-11.8 in (25-30 cm). This bird is about two times bigger than the European robin.

How fast can an ashy drongo fly?

The flying speed of an ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) bird is not known. However, these birds are known for their high agility and their ability to perform remarkable twists and turns during their flight.

How much does an ashy drongo weigh?

The ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) bird can weigh anywhere between 1.1-1.9 oz (32-55 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no unique names to identify male and the female ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) birds.

What would you call a baby ashy drongo?

A baby ashy drongo bird is known as a hatchling or chick. Ashy drongo hatchlings are taken care of by both parents.

What do they eat?

The majority of the ashy drongo diet comprises insects. This bird is known to forage flying insects like dragonflies, beetles, ants, crickets, grasshoppers, locusts by hawking and sometimes gleaning from tree trunks. They also feed on nectar, small mammals, lizards, hatchlings, eggs.

Are they dangerous?

The ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) species can be dangerous predators while foraging for their food, but these birds are not dangerous to humans and do not pose any threat.

Would they make a good pet?

Ashy drongos are not known to be kept as pets. Ashy drongo birds breed in the hills and are migratory in nature so it might not be the best idea to keep them in captivity.

Did you know...

The ashy drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) is also known by the names white-cheeked drongo and gray drongo.

Some of the subspecies of ashy drongo closely resemble the black drongo in appearance. However, the former birds are slimmer and have a less-splayed tail than the black drongo. The bird calls of the ashy drongo sound more nasal than those of black drongos.

The ashy drongo species are territorial and monogamous in nature.

How many eggs do ashy drongo lay? 

About three to four pale reddish-brown eggs with speckles are laid by the female ashy drongo during the months of May and June.

Do ashy drongos migrate? 

Many populations of ashy drongo birds are migratory species. These migratory birds can be found in the Himalayas, northern Afghanistan, central and eastern China, and Myanmar. In the winters, the breeding populations in the Himalayas move southwards towards Sri Lanka and peninsular India. The populations in Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and southeast China are endemic.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our fulvous whistling duck facts and Canada warbler facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable exotic bird coloring pages.

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