340. Dissemurus paradiseus.
The Larger Racket-tailed Drongo.
Cuculus paradiseus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 172 (1766). Lanius malabaricus, Lath. Ind. Orn. i, p. 66 (1790). Edolius grandis, Gould, P. Z. S. 1836, p. 5. Chibia malabaroides, Hodgs. Ind. Rev. i, p. 325 (1837). Edolius paradiseus (Linn.), Blyth, Cat. p. 201; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 435. Dicrurus (Edolius) paradiseus (Gm.), Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 155. Dicrurus (Edolius) malabaricus (Scop.), Horsf. M. Cat. i, p. 157. Edolius malabaricus (Scop.), Jerd. B. I. i, p. 437. Edolius affinis, Tytler, Beavan, Ibis, 1867, p. 323. Dissemurus malabaroides (Hodgs.), Hume, N. & E. p. 193; id. S. F. iii, p. 101; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 218. Dissemurus affinis (Tytler), Hume,S. F. ii, p. 212. Dissemurus paradiseus (Linn.), Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 128 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. iii, p. 258; Tweedd. Ibis, 1878, p. 80; Hume Dav. S. F. vi, p. 219; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 399; Hume, Cat. no. 285; Oates, S. F. x, p. 203; id. B. B. i, p. 225; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 156; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 217. Dissemurus malabaricus (Scop.), Hume, S. F. iv, p. 395. Dissemurus grandis (Gould), Hume, Cat. no. 284; Oates, S. F. viii, p. 166; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 156; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 101.
The Large Racket-tailed Drongo, The Malabar Racket-tailed Drongo, Jerd.; Bhimraj,Bhring-raj, Hind.; Kalgia, Nep.; Tinka passala poligadu, Tel.; Hati of the Gonds; Parvak or Parvok-pho, Lepch.; Kate-ougal, Mahr.; Maha-Kawuda, Eruttu valem Kuruvi, Tam, in Ceyl. ; Hnet-dau, Burm.
Coloration. The whole plumage black, glossed with blue, except on the inner webs of the quills, the throat, lower abdomen, and vent; the under wing-coverts and axillaries frequently tipped with white.
Iris red ; bill, feet, and claws black ; iris brown in the young.
Length up to 26; middle tad-feathers 5.;5 to 6.5; outer tail-feathers up to 20; wing 5.8 to 7; tarsus 1.1; bill from gape 1.5 to 1.8; crest up to 2.
I believe that it is impossible to separate the larger bird from the Himalayas and Central India from the smaller one from Southern India and Tenasserim, as the two forms are connected together by birds from Khandesh on the one hand and from Pegu on the other. The question has been fully discussed by Hume and Sharpe, the former separating the two races, and the latter uniting them.
Distribution. The western parts of India from Godhra in the Panch Mahals to Travancore; Ceylon; the Nellore ghats; the Tributary Mehals of Orissa; Chutia Nagpur; Sambalpur and Raipur; lower Bengal and the Sundarbans ; the Himalayas from Kumaun to Assam, and thence through Burma to the extreme south of Tenasserim. In the latter locality this Drongo is found in a small form, which becomes still further reduced in size in the Malay peninsula. This small Malay race has been named D. platurus.
Habits, &c. This species inhabits forests and well-wooded localities, and is more sociable than the other Drongos, being found either in pairs or in parties of four or five. It hawks after insects both from lofty stations and from points near the ground. It has a very fine song. The breeding-season lasts from April to June. The nest, which is constructed rather flimsily of twigs, is placed high up in branches of trees. The eggs are white or pinkish, marked with reddish brown and neutral tint, and measure about 1.15 by .82.