Behavior

Solitary except when paired or in family groups during breeding, drongos are nevertheless showy and noisy birds. Their daily routine is one of perching in the bare middle tiers of trees or their edges, on exposed vantage points from which to sally out in buoyant but agile evolutions on the wing after food, and then return. On the perch they sit upright, long tail hanging down and sporadically waving or twitching from side to side. All movement is on the wing, the birds never moving about on foot. To bathe, they plunge-dive from a perch or flight. Among the first birds to rise before dawn and the last to go to roost, drongos call regularly throughout the day year round, mostly from perches. The calls, of a great variety of grating chatters, creaking hinge notes, discordant chuckles, and melodious whistles, usually have something of a metallic twang; and each song stanza is rarely longer than five or six quick syllables. Some species, perhaps all, are accomplished mimics. Although some species are more retiring than others, all are rather quarrelsome, and are bold and pugnacious in defense of territory. They will attack and chase off birds as large as crows and medium-sized raptors, and mob owls, hornbills, and small predatory mammals.

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