Spangled Drongo Mimicracy

Subject: Spangled Drongo Mimicracy
From: "Belinda Cassidy" <>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 12:54:18 +1000
Today we were taking a walk through a local Brisbane forest and encountered
a wonderful range of birds there.

When we were well into the forest, we saw willy wagtails, and then a female
Satin flycatcher (could have been a female leaden flycatcher) chasing around
some tiny white throated honeyeaters. Then a `pack' of juvenile Sacred
Kingfishers swooped by, to check us out (we'd thought they'd gone north

The best sight of the day, though, was a friendly spangled drongo, which
swooped onto a branch just above our heads and caught a moth. He was not shy
at all and perched very close to us, bursting into a noisy chatter.

The chatter seemed to be a succession of `harsh scoldings' made by other
birds. The first sounded just like the local rainbow lorikeets, when they
are scolding a possum or another bird.

The next sound was strange, and possibly its own sound. But it sounded just
like the sound that a sacred kingfisher makes when it is defending its nest.

Finally, it burst into song which was in every way identical to a pied
butcherbird, down to its scolding sound. I was amazed! Next time I hear a
pied butcherbird, i will in no way assume it actually is one now!

I've seen drongos around most of my life, but this close encounter felt very
special. Of course, the camera was not with us, doh!

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