330. Dicrurus caerulescens.
The White-bellied Drongo.
Lanius caerulescens, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 134 (1766). Lanius caeruleus, Mull. Syst. Nat. Suppl. p. 72 (1776). Dicrurus caerulescens (Linn.), Blyth, Cat. p. 203; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 154; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 432 ; Butler, S. F. iii, p. 465; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 209. Dicrurus caeruleus (Mull.), Hume, N.& E. p. 191. Buchanga caerulescens (Linn.), Sharpe, Cat. B. M. iii, p. 252 ; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 211 ; Hume, Cat. no. 281; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 271; Reid, S. F. x, p. 33; Davidson, S. F. x, p. 303; Davison, t. c. p. 366; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 155.
Phari buchanga, Dhapri, Hind.; D'houli, Beng.; Nella (or Konda) passala poligadu, Tel.
Coloration. Upper plumage deep indigo ; throat and breast grey; abdomen, flanks, vent, and under tail-coverts white; the axillaries frequently tipped white.
Iris red ; bill, legs, and feet blackish (Hume Coll.).
Length about 9.5 ; tail 4.5 to 5.5 ; wing 4.5 to 5.5; tarsus .75 ; bill from gape 1.05; depth of fork of tail about T5 inches.
Distribution. Almost the whole of India proper, extending into Ceylon and ascending the Himalayas up to about 6000 feet. The north-western limits of this species appear to be a line drawn roughly from Cutch to Garhwal, and its eastern boundary the meridian of longitude traversing the eastern portion of the Rajmehal hills.
Habits, &c. A considerable number of these birds appear to spend the summer in the Himalayas and the winter in the plains; but many are no doubt resident in the latter, for they have been known to breed there, and their nests have been found in July. This Drongo frequents open jungle. The nest is described by Thompson as resembling that of D. ater, and it is built in the Himalayas near the top of moderate-sized trees in May and June. In Khandesh this species appears to breed in June and July. The eggs have not been described.
The White-bellied Drongo is said by Butler to have a rich Oriolelike note.