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Fanti Drongo - BirdForum Opus

Dicrurus atactus


24–28 cm. (9½-11in)

  • Entirely black
  • Slight violet-blue gloss in crown and mantle.
  • Lores and forehead velvet black
  • Slight violet-blue gloss in sides of head and neck, breast and flanks, and tips of underwing coverts and axillaries
  • Tail and wings glossed with steel-green
  • Inner webs of flight feathers dark gray-brown
  • Iris deep red
  • Bill strong, hook-tipped, black
  • Legs black.

Sexes alike in plumage, male slightly larger than female. Juvenile sooty brown with pale barring on lower belly and undertail coverts, brown iris.

Similar Species

Fanti Drongo has stronger violet-blue gloss in the upperparts than Velvet-mantled Drongo, with the latter more deep velvety black, unglossed except for slight greenish-blue sheen on forehead and crown, and with mantle and back showing faint violet-blue reflections. Distinguished from Western Square-tailed Drongo and Shining Drongo by larger size, deeply forked tail and less gloss; from Glossy-backed Drongo by darker underside of flight feathers, less gloss on back and underparts.


Sierra Leone and southern Guinea east to Ghana and southwestern Nigeria.


Monotypic[1]. Formerly considered a subspecies of Velvet-mantled Drongo.


A wide range of habitats, includes glades, clearings, and canopy in both primary and secondary forests, savannas, gardens, and parklands.


Typically perches on a bare tree branch searching for prey. They are highly territorial and aggressive towards large birds during nesting.


Mostly insects including grasshoppers, beetles, termites, cicadas, mantids, moths and butterflies, and bees and wasps.


Nest is a shallow cup of interlocked twigs and rootlets, fibers, and lichens, bound together with cobweb on a thin fork near end of a tree branch.


An extensive repertoire of twangy whistles, harsh nasal calls, and scratchy sounds.




  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Rocamora, G. and D. Yeatman-Berthelot (2020). Fanti Drongo (Dicrurus atactus), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, B. K. Keeney, P. G. Rodewald, and T. S. Schulenberg, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.vemdro5.01
  3. Fuchs, J., D. H. De Swardt, G. Oatley, J. Fjeldså, and R. C. K. Bowie (2018). Habitat‐driven diversification, hybridization and cryptic diversity in the Fork‐tailed Drongo (Passeriformes: Dicruridae: Dicrurus adsimilis). Zoologica Scripta 47:266–284.https://doi.org/10.1111/zsc.12274

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