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Fork-Tailed Drongo

Fork-Tailed Drongo
Photo Information
Copyright: Carl Landsberg (Jakkals) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 187 W: 3 N: 587] (2813)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-08-27
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 40D, Canon EF 300 f/4L IS USM
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2011-10-28 10:11
Viewed: 3802
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Photoing this little fellow presented two challenges to me:
one, to find one that will perch long enough
and two, capturing a black bird's feather detail I needed the sun absolutely from the right side.
Eventually I got my shot at 17:37 PM.

Enjoy and comments are welcome.

Dicrurus adsimilis (Fork-tailed drongo)

Mikstertbyvanger [Afrikaans]; Intengu [Xhosa]; iNtengu [Zulu]; Ntene [Kwangali]; Theko [North Sotho]; Nhengu, Nhengure (both names also applied to Southern black flycatcher) [Shona]; Intsengu [Swazi]; Mantengu [Tsonga]; Kuamosi [Tswana]; Fluweeldrongo [Dutch]; Drongo brillant [French]; Trauerdrongo, Gabelschwanzdrongo [German]; Drongo-de-cauda-forcada [Portuguese]

Distribution and habitat
Occurs across sub-Saharan Africa, absent only from extremely arid areas. In southern Africa it is common and widespread, with massive populations in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa, absent from some grassland and arid habitats. It generally occurs in woodland, such as savanna and riverine woodland, but is also common in alien tree plantations, forest edges, grassland with scattered trees, farmland, gardens and parks.

Brood parasites
It has been recorded as host of the Jacobin cuckoo and African cuckoo.

Highly adaptable, it eats a variety of animal prey, especially insects but also other birds and fish. It often hawks insects from a perch, catching them in flight or on the ground, often targeting insects flying around electric lights. It is a kleptoparasite, regurlarly stealing food from other birds (often within a mixed-species foraging flock) and mammals. A good example is the Suricate (Suricata suricatta): In the Kalahari Desert, drongos sometimes perch above a few foraging Suricates, waiting till one of them finds food, at which point it mimicks their alarm call, snatching up their prey in the ensuing confusion. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:
• Animals
o Arthropods
 Apis mellifera (Honey bee), often caught near their hive.
 Coleoptera (beetle larvae)
 Paper wasps (Polistinae)
 caterpillars of Imbrasia belina (Mopane emperor moth)
 ticks, often taken from cattle.
 termites
o Vertebrates
 small lizards
 fish
 Birds
 nestlings
 Serinus canicollis (Cape canary)
 adults
 Spermestes cucullatus (Bronze mannikin)
 Crithagra mozambicus (Yellow-fronted canary)
 Batis capensis (Cape batis)
 eggs and chicks
 Vanellus coronatus (Crowned lapwing)

• Plants
o Aloe nectar

• The nest is a thinly-walled cup made of twigs, leaf petioles and tendrils, strongly bound together with spider web strands. It is usually placed like a Egg-laying season is from August-January, peaking from September-October.
• It lays 2-5 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for about 15-18 days.
• The chick are fed and brooded by both parents, leaving the nest after about 16-22 days.

Not threatened.

• Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.

Silvio2006, flashpoint, marius-secan, BREARD, anel, pegos, Mamagolo2, Pitoncle, bungbing, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To corjan3: Fork-Tailed DrongoJakkals 1 11-02 13:01
To corjan3: Lets call it just glad!!Jakkals 1 10-31 09:43
To chrimakris: ThanksJakkals 1 10-29 07:01
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Carl,
very good portrait of this bird. Excellent low point of view. Great sharpness and details. Nice colours. Also very good background.
Have a nice weekend,

hello Neighbour Carl
this is a super sharpness pose of this beauty
greatdetails nice light and beautiful colours
thanks greeting lou

Wow ...what a shot ! No further corrections are needed here I think! Good evening Carl!Lovely colors, lovely light and brilliant sharpness! Proudly SA product...bravo!
George Veltchev

Ciao Carl, lovely bird in nice pose on a beautiful blurry BG, perfect focus on eye, fine details, excellent sharpness, wonderful colors and splendid light, very well done my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Hallo Carl,
superb portrait, outstanding sharpness and marvellous colours, excellent point of view and lighting
Best regards

striking capture, good backrouynd, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2011-10-28 20:44]

Hello Carl,
Well as you stated everything had to be just right. I can definitely say it paid off very well for you with this awesome shot. All black subjects are a real challenge when trying to capture detail and getting the right exposure. You managed to do both perfectly in this instance. A stunning top quality image!!!

Hello Carl,
Impressive capture with very nice details and exceptional sharpness.
I love the excellent clarity and perfect focus.
Wonderful composition and perfect shoot as usual.
Sorry I have no more green smilies left.

  • Great 
  • BREARD Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 1 N: 419] (2141)
  • [2011-10-28 22:50]

Bonjour Carl,
Un belle image de cette oiseau.
Belle netteté et des détails très soignés.

Another interesting African bird Carl! Beautiful photo with good composition and good sharpness. The white line bordering your subject is a result of over-cropping and over-sharpening of the original photo. You can easily delete this line using Clone-stamp (In Photoshop). See my WS! Beside the white line I have also deleted the twigs which were touching the tail of the bird. I hope that you will like it.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2011-10-29 3:58]

Hello Carl,
Great photo of this Fork-tailed Drongo. Fantastic sharpness and details, very beautiful natural colours with a perfect blurred background and a pleasing composition.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2011-10-29 5:16]

Hello Carl,
A luminous picture of the all black Drongo, which is rather a challenge for the photographer, as you say in your note. Very well done, a few ameliorations have been done in the WS. You have really chosen the best point of view and the blurred neutral background is ideal too.
Very well done!
Have a nice wekend

  • Great 
  • pegos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 222 W: 0 N: 356] (1982)
  • [2011-10-29 7:55]

Hello Carl,
fantastic capture of this beautiful bird with great sharpness and fine detail; perfect contrast with background and splendid light.Great quality!
Thanks for sharing

WOW Boet, now this is one fantastic capture of a Fork-Tailed Drongo. Not easy to take a photo of a black bird. As you say to have the sun from the right side. The feather detail is excellent and I like the catch light in the eye. Perfect POV and well done.

Hi Carl,

Excellent picture of this drongo in good pose & captured with good details & sharpness.
Taken from a good POV & great eye contact. Very well done & TFS.

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2011-10-29 10:21]

Hi Carl,
Excellent portrait of a beautiful bird. Excellent composition and sharpness details. Nice background are nice too.
Regards Jiri.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-10-30 11:12]

Hello Carl.
Excellent capture of this very beautiful bird. All, from eye contact to sharp details, colors, but perfect exposure with black balance. TFS, best wishes.Best regards Siggi

Hello Carl,
I have been photographing drongo on and off during the year and contemplated uploading another but not after seeing this one :) A beautiful image in all respects. No room for complaints from the purists, the artists and even the technicians. Just beautiful. Very well done indeed.

PS: Have been away for six weeks, working elsewhere, and only returned yesterday. I am enjoying your images from Etosha and I am sure there are many more to come. Best wishes.

colors are great, very fine close up, your composition!
regards Nasos

Hi Carl,
Very nice capture of this Black Drongo. Good pose, BG, composition and sharp details.

Bonjour Carl,
Très belle valorisation du sujet dans une belle lumière permettant d'apprécier la finesse des détails dans une couleur difficile à exploiter.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Hi Carl

The photo of this black drongo is well worth the wait. Nicely composed sharp capture. Also the sun really was on the right side and it shows in the eye of this black beauty. Indeed very well done.

very nice capture, excellent focus and very nice composition, congrats Carl,

un saluto, tino

Hello Carl,
A very beautiful picture of this lovely bird, beautiful lighting, great highlighted eye and very nice details sharpness against a very nice pleasing background, an excellent captured!
Thanks for sharing and have a great Saturday,
Best Regards,

Hello Carl

WOW ! excellent close-up photo of this bird,
very fine POV and framing, beautiful light
coming on the image and the bird, great focus
sharpness and details, expressive glance, TFS


  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2013-02-06 1:17]

Hello Carl
really a nice capture of the drongo. Exciting color contrast. The eye is really wonderful here. superb presentation and the view is so lively,


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