774. Dicrurus leucophaeus stevensi

(774) Dicrurus leucophaeus stevensi Stuart Baker.
Dicrurus leucophoeus stevensi, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 362.
This Grey Drongo is found in the Outer Himalayas from West Nepal to Eastern Assam, North and West of the Brahmapootra, but not east of that river in Lakhimpur. It extends into the foot-hills and adjacent plains along the whole of this area and breeds in the hills up to at least 5,000 feet and, exceptionally, up to 7,000 feet.
Mandelli found it common about Darjiling up to 4,000 feet, but Masson obtained nests for me at much greater elevations than this ; Gammie, also, took a nest at 3,500 feet. In Nepal Hodgson found them in small numbers at Sheopuri, 7,500 feet, where they were breeding on the 20th May. This is the highest elevation I can find recorded.
Mandelli writes :—“They lay in April and May, and have but one brood in the year. The nest is generally either built against a tall bamboo, well up, supported on the branch of twigs at a node, or near the extremity of a branch of a tree, sometimes on quite slender branches of young trees, which get so tremendously wafted about by the winds that the retention of the eggs or young in the nest appears almost miraculous.”
The nest is described as being like that of all other King-Crows, except he says that “the lining is a mixture of straw-coloured root-fibres and fine branchlets of the same coloured grass-panicles.” Hume says that Mandelli’s nests of this bird were “lined with very fine hair-like grass-stems.”
The breeding season is from the latter end of April —at the lower levels—to the end of May and early June.
The normal clutch is four eggs, but sometimes three only are laid.
The eggs differ in no way from those of the other races, but the few I have seen all have a white or carmine-pink ground. One clutch in my small series is pure white.
Sixteen eggs, including Hume’s, average 25.9 x 18.6 mm. : maxima 26.3 x 19.5 mm. ; minima 23.1 x 18.0 mm.
I have no doubt that a larger series would have a smaller average, as two of my clutches are exceptionally big eggs.

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: 
774. Dicrurus leucophaeus stevensi
Spp Author: 
Stuart baker.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Himalayas Grey Drongo
Ashy Drongo
Dicrurus leucophaeus
Vol. 2

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