777. Dicrurus ccerulescens ccerulescens

(777) Dicrurus coerulescens coerulescens (Linn.).
Dicrurus coerulescens coerulescens Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 365.
The White-bellied Drongo is resident and breeds in suitable localities over all India from the extreme South to Cutch on the West, and thence in a line East and North to Garhwal. Due East it is found as far as Western Bengal and Behar. In the Himalayas Thompson says it breeds between 2,500 and 6,000 feet and that it is common on the South-Eastern slopes of Naini Tal. Whymper also found it at Naini Tal at about 5,000 feet, but at Pach¬marhi Osmaston obtained it breeding freely between 1,000 and 3,500 feet.
In Travancore Stewart took its nest at about 1,000 and 3,000 feet ; Howard Campbell took nests at Ramondrug, in the Bellary district, and Horsley had a nest in the Cuddapore district and, later, also in the Nilgiri Hills, but does not give the elevations at which they were building. Davidson took many nests on the Kondabhari Ghat, Western Khandeish, and round Sirsi, in Kanara, of which he sent me several.
Its nidification is quite typical of the Drongos but, though it is only a small species, it makes a larger, more bulky nest than most. Thompson merely says of the nests seen by him that they looked just like those of ater, but Campbell says that “the nest is much more substantial than that of other Drongos, and is well lined with grass.” Davidson also says that they are “largish nests,” and Stewart says that the nests are “shallow cups of twigs, roots and grasses, and lined with the latter. Bigger than other Drongos’ nests.”
The nest is placed in the usual position in the outer branches of trees, at any height between 10 and 30 feet from the ground.
In Western Bombay Davidson took eggs from the 2nd April to the 3rd June, Stewart and Campbell obtained eggs in April and May, Thompson and Whymper about Naini Tal in May and June, and Osmaston about Pachmarhi in April.
The usual full clutch of eggs is two or three. I have one clutch of four taken by Osmaston below Naini Tal, while Campbell also says that this Drongo lays three or four eggs.
I do not think the eggs could be distinguished from those of Dicrurus leucophoeus, though the variation is not so great. There are no white eggs known, and I have seen no varieties of the marbled type or of the type marked with very deep blackish-purple spots. The most common ground-colour is a warm salmon-pink.
Forty eggs average 23.6 x 17.8 mm. : maxima 25.5 x 18.5 and 54.0 x 19.1 mm. ; minima 19.1 x 15.2 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
777. Dicrurus ccerulescens ccerulescens
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
White Bellied Drongo
Dicrurus caerulescens caerulescens
Vol. 2

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