Pygmy drongo

Chaetorhynchus papuensis taxonomy

Chaetorhynchus papuensis A. B. Meyer, 1874, Arfak Mountains, northwest New Guinea. Monotypic. Monarch-like in form and behavior, this species has been confused with the monarch-flycatcher group in the past.

other common names

English: Papuan drongo; French: Drongo papou; German: Rundschwanzdrongo; Spanish: Drogo Papua.

physical characteristics

8-8.5 in (20-22 cm); 1.2-1.6 oz (35-45 g), both sexes. A very small drongo, all black with blue gloss over head and back. It has rictal bristles that extend beyond the bill tip, a short rounded crest over the head, a square-tipped tail of 12 feathers, a concealed white patch on the inner wing coverts under the scapulars in both sexes, and brown eye; immatures are duskier and glossless, and lack the concealed white wing spot.

distribution

Lower slopes of mountain ranges throughout mainland New Guinea, between 1,600 and 5,000 ft (488-1,524 m) above sea level.

habitat

Interior of primary and tall secondary hill rainforest.

behavior

Solitary or in pairs within lower stages of rainforest where territorial sallying for arthropod food on wing or perching mo tionless on bare exposed twigs and branches, sitting near upright with tail hanging down and occasionally twitching from side to side or raised, fantail (Rhipidura)-like, on alighting. Sporadically vocal, uttering two types of song of unknown function, one an explosive jumble of nasal and metallic rasps and squeaks (4.5-5.0 seconds), the other a loud melodious mix of whistles, chips, and warbles; other calls comprise a range of metallic clicks, slurs, and squeaks.

feeding ecology and diet

Forages by drongo-like sallying in more open mid and lower strata of forest, capturing a range of insects; commonly associates with feeding flocks of other bird species, benefiting from insects disturbed.

reproductive biology

Not known.

conservation status

Not threatened.

significance to humans None known. ♦

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