792. Dissemurus paradiseus malabaricus

(792) Dissemurus paradiseus malabaricus (Lath.).
THE MALABAR LARGE RACKET-TAILED DRONGO.
Dissemurus paradiseus malabaricus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 381.
The Malabar race of this Drongo is found over the whole of South¬-West India, South of the range of D. p. grandis.
The nesting of this Drongo is so exactly the same as that of other races that no special description is needed ; nor is there much on record.
Macpherson says it is “common in the heavy forests of the Mysore district,” where he himself saw one nest in the usual inaccessible position, and containing young birds on the 2nd May. Other nests were brought to him from the 10th April to the 9th May. Davidson took many nests at various places in Kanara and remarks, in his “Birds of North Kanara” (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. xi, p. 662, 1896) :—“This is by far the commonest Drongo in this district, and found in abundance in all the forests except in the extreme North-East. It breeds from March to May, placing its nest, as a rule, at a moderate height from the ground, but generally suspended on a thin branch, so that, though nests are very easy to find, owing to the pugilistic behaviour of the old birds, they are not always easy to take down without breaking the eggs.”
In Travancore both Bourdillon and Stewart took many nests in the forests from the foot-hills up to 3,000 feet and Stewart, in sending me some clutches, writes :—“This Drongo is fairly common in the damp forests of Travancore from 500 feet up to 3,000 feet and, being a very noisy bird during the breeding season, the nest can easily be located, but the eggs are difficult to get, being at the extreme end of a branch at a height of 60 feet or more. The nest is always suspended between two twigs and built strongly of twigs and cobwebs. These four clutches were all taken in belts of forest on Aneichardi Tea Estate.”
Davidson, in Kanara, took eggs from the 2nd April to the 10th July, nor do these appear to be two broken periods, for eggs were taken by him at regular intervening dates. In Travancore the earliest eggs were obtained by Stewart on the 18th of February and the latest by Bourdillon on the 10th of May.
The clutch seems to be almost invariably three, and I have only seen two clutches of four, both taken by Stewart, who must have seen dozens of clutches of this Drongo.
In colour they can be matched by eggs of all the other races, and in my big series there are no outstanding clutches other than one of three eggs which has a creamy white ground flecked with dark reddish-brown and spotted and clouded, especially in one egg, with pale grey.
Forty-eight eggs average 28.1 x 21.1 mm. : maxima 32.2 x 21.5 and 27.0 x 22.8 mm. ; minima 26.6 x 20.2 and 27.0 x 20.0 mm.
Texture and shape are quite normal.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
792. Dissemurus paradiseus malabaricus
Spp Author: 
Lath.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
792
Year: 
1933
Page No: 
348
Common name: 
Malabar Large Racket Tailed Drongo
M_ID: 
19657
M_CN: 
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
M_SN: 
Dicrurus paradiseus
Volume: 
Vol. 2
id: 
13928

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