Wild Birds

Square-tailed Drongos

The Square-tailed Drongo, Dicrurus ludwigii, is a drongo. The drongos are small passerine birds of the Old World tropics.

They were previously classed as the family Dicruridae, but that has been much enlarged to include several largely Australasian groups, such as the Australasian fantails, monarchs, and paradise flycatchers.

Distribution / Range

The Square-tailed Drongo is a common resident breeder in much of Africa south of the Sahara. These insect-eating birds are usually found in forests or dense bush.

Nesting / Breeding

Two to three eggs are laid in a cup nest on a fork high in a tree.


These are aggressive and fearless birds, given their small size, at 19 cm, and will attack much larger species if their nest or young are threatened.

The male is mainly glossy black, although the wings are duller. The female is similar but less glossy. The bill is black and heavy, and the eye is red.

This species is similar to the Fork-tailed Drongo but is smaller, and the shorter tail lacks the deep fork which gives the latter species its name. Fork-tailed is also typically found in more open habitats.

The Square-tailed Drongo has short legs and sits very upright whilst perched prominently, like a shrike. It flies or takes prey from the ground.

Calls / Vocalization

The call is a harsh cherit-cherit.

Drongo Information and SpeciesDrongo Photo Gallery

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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