Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo

Scientific Name: Surniculus lugubris

Malay Name: Sewah Sawai Biasa

Chinese Name: 乌鹃

Range: Found from the Indian subcontinent to southern China and Southeast Asia with the northern populations wintering south to Southeast Asia

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: barussarum, brachyurus, lugubris.

Local Subspecies: brachyurus

Size: 24.5 cm

Identification: Adult has glossy black overall plumage, slender, slightly downcurved bill and square-cut to slightly forked tail with white barrings on vent and undertail coverts. Juvenile resembles adult but is somewhat browner and has prominent white spots on body and wing-coverts.

Similar looking species: Crow-billed Drongo

Habitat: The resident species are confined mainly to forest and forest edge but migrants can also be found in mangroves, parks and gardens.

Behaviour/Ecology: Known to brood parasite on Pin-striped Tit-Babbler and Olive-winged Bulbul in Singapore.

Local Status: Uncommon resident and uncommon migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Central Catchment Forest, Dairy Farm Nature Park, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Singapore Botanic Gardens, former Bidadari Cemetery, Chinese/Japanese Gardens, Pasir Ris Park, Jurong Eco Garden, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Neo Tiew Lane 2.

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Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):


BirdLife International. (2016). Surniculus lugubris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22728167A94972858.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.