• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Shining Drongo - BirdForum Opus

Dicrurus atripennis


21.5 - 24cm. The glossiest drongo in Africa.

  • Entirely black plumage with stron shining steel-green to purplish-blue reflections
  • Velvety black forehead and lores
  • Stiff feathers cover the base of upper mandible
  • Tail slightly forked
  • Dark red iris

Sexes alike, females are slightly smaller. Juveniles are sooty black with some greenish gloss on wings and tail only.

Similar species

Larger than Square-tailed Drongo, glossier plumage and larger tail with deeper fork.
Smaller than Velvet-mantled Drongo which has a much deeper forked tail and less gloss.


Found in tropical Africa from Sierra Leone east to Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Ghana to Democratic Republic of the Congo and south to Gabon and Congo.
Widespread but only locally common.


This is a monotypic species.


Moist lowland forests. The most typical forest drongo.
Occupies lower canopy (between 5 and 25m) whereas Square-tailed Drongo is found in higher canopy.


Feeds on large insects. Sallies out from a horizontal perch to catch aerial prey, also follows swarms of carnivorous ants to catch disturbed insects.
Breeding recorded at different months through its range. Highly territorial and aggressivley harrassing and chasing any other animal coming to close to nest. The nest is a shallow cup made of rootlets and lichens and placed in atree. Lays 2 eggs.
A resident species.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507

Recommended Citation

External Links