Family DICRURIDAE

The intrinsic muscles of the syrinx fixed to the ends of the bronchial semi-rings ; the edges of both mandibles smooth, with a single notch in the upper one ; hinder aspect of tarsus smooth and bilaminated; wing with ten primaries; tongue non-tubular; nostrils clear of the line of forehead; the lower edge of the nostril nearer to the commissure than the upper edge is to the culmen ; plumage of the nestling much barred with white; nostrils overhung by hairs or plumelets ; rictal bristles two; sexes alike. An Autumn moult only.

The Dicruridae Drongo-Shrikes or Drongos, form one of the most easily defined families of the Passeres, their black plumage and long forked tail of ten feathers sufficing to distinguish them readily. They appear to be more closely allied to the Shrikes than to any other Indian family and a very natural sequence seems to be Ply-catchers, Shrikes, Drongos, though these end, so far as India is concerned, in a cul-de-sac; if we work eastwards, however, through Malaya to Australia they would appear to approach very closely to the Paradiseidae.

A great deal still remains to be worked out in regard to the local movements of the Drongos, although they are among the most common of our Indian birds. They are not migratory in the true sense, yet many of the species move considerably during the rain* and the dry-weather periods, movements oil which we as yet know very little, either in regard to cause or extent.

In all the Dicruridae the wing is pointed and long; the tarsus is short but fairly stout and the tail is long. In this family energy seems to be expressed in various forms of head-adornment, in remarkable development of the tail or in both ways.

Key to Genera.

A. Outer tail-feathers not greatly lengthened; no portion of shaft bare.
a. Forehead not tufted.
a1. Bill deep; width and depth at nostrils
equal …………………………………………………………………………… Dicrurus, p. 353.
b1 Bill depressed; width greater than
depth at nostrils……………………………………………………………….. ..Chaptia, p. 368.
b. Forehead tufted.
c1. Tuft composed of a few hairs several
inches long……………………………………………………………………………Chibia, p. 370.
d1. Tuft composed of few hair-like
feathers, half-an-inch long ……………………………………………....Dissemuroides, p. 371.
e1. Tuft composed of ordinary feathers half-an-inch long……………Dissemurulus, p. 373.
B. Outer tail-feathers greatly lengthened and part of shafts bare.
c. Terminal portion of outermost tail- feathers equally webbed
on both sides……………………………………………………………………….Bhringa, p. 374,
d. Terminal portion of outermost tail-feathers much more broadly webbed
on the outer than on the inner side…………………………………………Dissemurus, p. 376.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Reference: 
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.2 1924.
Title in Book: 
Family DICRURIDAE
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Year: 
1924
Page No: 
351
M_ID: 
19546
M_SN: 
Dicruridae
Volume: 
Vol. 2
Term name: 
id: 
3382

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