To: Andrew Thelander <>
Subject: Re: birding-aus TAIL OF IMMATURE DRONGO
From: Tom Tarrant <>
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 15:42:11 +1000

G'day Andrew and B'ausers,
Over the years I have seen young Spangled Drongos showing the odd-tail
characteristics that you describe on a number of occasions, they frequently
remind of illustrations of the Ratchet-tailed Treepie of Indo-china (which I
have yet to see!)
Also every year (around the same period) I hear a call which I am sure is new to
me only to realise that it emanates from a young Drongo, hopefully in the future
I'll remember it first-time!
Tom Tarrant
Dayboro, Qld

Andrew Thelander wrote:

> birding-aus
> On Saturday whilst planting some banksias in my eucalypt patch, I had the
> company of a curious immature drongo that sat up very close and watched the
> action.  It frequently opened and closed its tail in a pattern I had never
> noticed before and which is not illustrated in any of the guides.  For
> example, look at the illustration of an adult drongo on page 469 of Pizzey
> and Knight - the tail feathers are all of equal length and "fishtail out" at
> the bottom.  However, the outer tail feathers of my immature drongo weren't
> as long as the central tail feathers, so that when he fanned his tail, the
> outer feathers stuck out the side, progressively down the tail, rather than
> in a flat line at the bottom.  A bit like a treepie, for those familiar with
> SE Asian birds.
> I can only deduce that, in immatures, the outer tail feathers take a while
> to grow to central tail feather length.  Has anyone else noticed this?  Any
> banders, perhaps?  Thanks.
> Andrew Thelander
> PO Box 302
> Pomona QLD 4568
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