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Western Square-tailed Drongo - BirdForum Opus

Dicrurus occidentalis


Length 18-19 cm (7-7½ in.)

  • Small drongo, with a slightly notched, almost square-cut tail.
  • Entirely black, slightly glossed purplish blue above and on breast
  • Flight feathers uniformly blackish-brown
  • Iris pale orange to bright orange-red or blood-red
  • Bill heavy and hooked, black
  • Legs black.

Similar species

Similar to Sharpe's Drongo but much heavier bill. No range overlap. Shining Drongo is larger, glossed greenish and prefers closed-canopy forests.


Southern Senegal and the Gambia east to western Nigeria.


Monotypic[1]. Formerly included in Common Square-tailed Drongo.


Forest edge, riverine forest, and open forest.



Larger insects, including moths, locusts, beetles and termites. Hawks for insects from a perch.


Hammock nest relatively small for a drongo made from large flakes of lichen, leaf petioles and dry plant stems attached to branches with cobweb. Clutch or 2 or 3 variably colored eggs incubated by both sexes.


Includes a harsh, raspy check call, short liquid calls, and more emphatic whistles, both upslurred and downslurred.




  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). Western Square-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus occidentalis), 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.wstdro1.01
  3. Fuchs, J., M. Douno, R. C. K. Bowie, and J. Fjeldså (2018). Taxonomic revision of the Square-tailed Drongo species complex (Passeriformes: Dicruridae) with description of a new species from western Africa. Zootaxa 4438:105–127. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4438.1.4

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