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Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by the late Laurence Poh
Near Perak, Malaysia, January 2004
Surniculus lugubris


Overall glossy black.Small white nuchal patch and white thighs are difficult to observe in the field.

From Drongos by thinner slightly down curved beak, forked tail (slightly) with white barrings on vent and under tail coverts.

Juvenile is slightly browner and has white spots on body and coverts.


Photo © by SeeToh
Former Bidadari Cemetery, Singapore, October 2013

Asia: found in the Indian sub-continent, through south-east Asia to the Greater Sundas and Bali.


Photo © by dixonlau
Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, 5 November 2021

This is a polytypic species[1] consisting of 3 subspecies.


This species was formerly included in Asian Drongo-Cuckoo.


Forest and forest edges.


Keeps to the canopy and the crown of tall trees. Does not chase insects from a open perch in the manner of drongos.
A known brood parasite of Striped Tit-Babbler and Olive-winged Bulbul.
Very vocal.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

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GSearch checked for 2020 platform.