|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|The Racket-tailed Drongo, Dicrurus paradiseus, is a medium-sized Asian bird. The drongos are passerines restricted to the Old World tropics. |
The Racket-tailed Drongo is a resident breeder in India. This species is usually found in broadleaved forest. Three or four eggs are laid in a cup nest in a tree.
These are aggressive and fearless birds, 32 cm in length, and will attack much larger species if their nest or young are threatened. This courageous drongo usually leads the mixed feeding flocks typical of Asian jungle habitats.
The Racket-tailed Drongo has short legs and sits very upright whilst perched prominently, like a shrike. It is insectivorous. The species is well-known as a very accurate vocal mimic, and according to Goodale and Kotagama (2006) appears to learn its alarm calls through interactions in mixed-species flocks. This is quite unusual, as avian vocal mimicry has hitherto been believed to be ignorant of the original context of the imitated vocalization (parrots are known to use imitated human speech in correct context, but do not show this behavior in nature). This drongo's context-sensitive use of other species' alarm calls is thus analogous to a human learning useful short phrases and exclamations in a number of foreign languages. Jim Corbett in his book "Jungle Lore" mentions that the Drongo can imitate to perfection the calls of most birds and of one animal the "Cheetal" and it has a great sense of humour. Attaching himself to a flock of ground feeding birds, keeps a sharp lookout for enemies in the way of hawks, cats, snakes and small boys armed with catapults and warning of the approach of danger is never disregarded.......
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