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Drongos are black birds with elongated tail feathers that turn outwards and resemble a fish-tail. This one is a juvenile Spangled Drongo, identifiable by the brown eye and brownish feathers. When an adult it will have a red eye and iridescent blue spangles on its breast. They are common along the east and north coasts of Australia and can usually be seen on a prominent perch or in erratic darting flight.
The Spangled Drongo is one of the mud-nest builders and they are easily recognised by the ‘fish tail’. They are a lovely iridescent black and have an erratic flight as they catch insects in mid-air The red eye indicates this one is an adult.
I haven’t seen a Spangled Drongo for months, in fact it was last August on the other side of the headland and as I happened to have my camera that time too I posted it here. This one was down near the lagoon and was doing what Drongos like to do, sitting on a prominent perch flicking their tail open and shut. They are large black birds, about 30 cm and easily recognised by the elongated tail feathers that curl outwards giving it a fish-tail. If you’re close enough and/or the light is right you can see the iridescent blue spangles on the breast that give them their name.
I only have to walk out my front door and head out the gate in the back fence and I am on the nature strip leading to Emerald Beach. Its one of the off leash dog beaches in the area which is great for me as I have a little dog and so does my flat mate. As I headed towards the track that wends its way around the freshwater creek to the beach I saw this black bird sitting way up high in a tree and at first thought it was a raven or a crow then realised it had a ‘fish tail’. I snapped a couple of pics with one eye on the dogs and I’ve identified it by my bird book, The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds 2nd Edition as a Spangled Drongo. They are a lot smaller than a raven, around 30 cm to the ravens 50 and have iridescent blue spangles on their breast. This one had red eyes which means he/she is an adult. They are quite common in eastern and northern Australia and make a loud noisy ‘scissoring’ call.