Flores Drongo – Dicrurus bimaensis

Endemic species “Level 1*” (“classical”) – published on the 4th of May 2020
Ecolodge_indonesia_logo_smallPage fully published with ECOLODGES INDONESIA
See Dicruridae family (drongos)
In French: Drongo de Florès en français

Dicrurus_bimaensis_main_mbeliling_ecolodge_flores_indonesiaIn the classification followed here, this drongo is endemic to the Lesser Sundas, found on Sumbawa, Komodo, Rinca, Florès, Solor, Adonara, Lembata, Pantar, Alor, and Gunungapi. This forest bird that although exists in the lowlands and the mountains (maximum 1,650 meters on Florès) could be threatened by deforestation. Its populations have not been studied yet and have no “official” endangered species status, but e-Bird considers it a “sensitive bird” but doesn’t publish the sites where they can be found.

There are no precise studies of its behaviour, and the rare information found does not necessarily involve precisely this species but rather other taxa in the Hair-crested / Spangled Drongo complex.

It is an insectivorous bird but no studies of its diet have been done to find out more. Breeding is even less known: no description of the nest, the duration of nesting or the role of the parents is available.

A sensitive but very common bird at the Mbeliling Ecolodge

There’s no point in making it a secret, we couldn’t hide it even if we wanted to. This rather exclusive drongo is downright plentiful at the lodge. Small (family?) groups can be seen along the road under the lodge; these birds visit the gardens and are seen and heard from the balconies. In the forest it is almost ubiquitous, being one of the most frequently encountered birds. It is wary, somewhat shy and having good photos it is not as straightforward as such a presence might let think. However, with a little effort, it is possible to capture it.
Dicrurus_bimaensis_1_mbeliling_ecolodge_flores_indonesiaWhat is difficult is to get close, it spots us immediately and hides. On the other hand, when posted in a favourable place without moving, even from the balcony of a chalet, it can give us the pleasure to come near and allow some decent images.

Thus, to our great surprise, the Flores Drongo is the second bird we photographed (opposite) from the chalet upon our arrival on April 14, after the Flame-breasted Sunbird. It was already a bit dark, but we quickly got better images as we walked through the gardens. See below: in full light, the beautiful blue feathers of the wings and tail are clearly visible.

Dicrurus_bimaensis_2_mbeliling_ecolodge_flores_indonesiaFor a “sensitive” bird like the Flores Drongo, knowing a site such the Mbeliling Ecolodge is a real pleasure. We know exactly where to go to see it.

Ecolodge_indonesia_logo_smallText by Valéry Shollaert
and Marinella Mejia


This bird has been considered as a subspecies of either the Spangled Drongo or the Hair-crested Drongo and, more recently, suggested as a sub-species of the Wallacean Drongo (Dicrurus densus), itself a former subspecies of one the above according to classifications. However, it is morphologically and vocally distinct, and we don’t see a valid reason to keep Flores Drongo as a simple subspecies. The taxon has undoubtedly been described based on dead specimens by researchers with no field experience of the birds concerned – see our analysis of the problem on the Chestnut-faced Babbler page.



[Species #855 of the Holistic Encyclopedia of Birds project]


Click here to see the landscape and our description of Mbeliling Ecologethumbnail_mbeliling_ecolodge_flores_indonesia_fruitdove


List of other species pages: taxonomicalday per day


All photos and text are © Valéry Schollaert 2020
with acknowledgment to the copy editor: Remy Ty

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