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Species Guide

Fork-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo

Surniculus dicruroides

The Fork-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo, known scientifically as Surniculus dicruroides, is a captivating species of cuckoo bearing a striking resemblance to the black drongo. This bird is characterized by its straight beak and the distinctive white barred vent. A deeply forked tail is a hallmark of this species, and it is often adorned with a white spot on the back of the head.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the Fork-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo, look for its straight beak and the white barring on the vent. The deeply forked tail is a key feature, and the presence of a white spot on the back of the head can be a helpful distinguishing mark.


This species is primarily found residing in the hill forests of peninsular India, although it has also been spotted in the Himalayan foothills.


The Fork-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo is a resident bird mainly found in peninsular India, with some specimens known from the Himalayan foothills.


The Fork-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo is known to be a brood parasite, laying its eggs in the nests of small babblers. The advantage of its drongo-like appearance is suspected to aid in its brood-parasitism, similar to how hawk-cuckoos mimic hawks.

Song & Calls

The song of the Fork-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo is a series of 5 or 6 whistling notes, each rising in pitch, described as "pip-pip-pip-pip-pip-".

Conservation status

According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Fork-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo is classified as Least Concern, indicating that it is not currently at significant risk of extinction in the wild.

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Fork-tailed Drongo-Cuckoos on Birda

A map showing the sighting location
Filia Fayard
04 Jun 2023 - 6:40am

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