A few weeks ago we ran a story on a pair of fork-tailed drongos that were nesting barely two hundred metres from the Londolozi camps.
Three beautiful eggs were laid in that nest, but the site the birds had chosen was fairly exposed, and we were worried that it would be spotted and raided by a predator.
Fast forward nearly a month though, and we are happy to report that all three chicks are alive and well.
The trio are already starting to flap their little wings in order to prep their muscles for their first flight. We are still a couple of weeks away from that stage yet, as their primary feathers (the main flight ones) still have quite a bit of growing to do, but at least one of the chicks has been seen leaving the nest and walking out along the branch it is on. This is of course a dangerous period in their development, as a slip could tumble them out of the tree and they won’t be able to scramble back up to the safety of the nest.
The books say that only about one in three chicks is reared successfully. I don’t know at which stage of development the greatest mortality occurs, but it seems to me that these three are doing fantastically well. It’s possible that one might start to edge out the others when it comes to getting food (one of the chicks appears slightly darker; I don’t know if that suggests more rapid development), and the ones that don’t receive as much might be stunted in their growth as a result, be slower to fly and therefore more susceptible to predation.
It’s not quite the African Wild Dog den we had on Londolozi at the start of Lockdown, but here right on our door step is a comparable story of birth, growth and survival of incredibly vulnerable creatures in a very hostile environment. Let’s all root for them!
James, I loved all the photos, especially the chicks🤗
Love this update. Thank you.
Wonderful to see up close too. Beautiful photography and the birds are so precious as is all of wildlife in their natural environment. Thank you James once again for starting my day like a bright light …if we look carefully, hope and inspiration are just a click away on the Londolozi Blog. Blessings to all.
It is just as exciting, well not quite as the wild dog den. Love it.
That is so precious – what a lovely story and photos and it is funny to see them squeezed into the nest – like the 5.30pm tube from Oxford Circus to Waterloo station on a weekday!
We wish them well! It always amazes me as they grow they can still fit in that nest together.
Absolutely charming photos of the drongos. Thank you.
Fabulous- thanks for the update!!
Fingers crossed that they all make it James. Thanks for this interesting blog. Be well and stay safe.
Wonderful pictures of these cute chicks. It’s really amazing how they can still live in the small nest. I do hope that all three will make it to independence.
Very beautiful close ups.
Very cool, thanks for the update. Please keep us posted on their progress. Rooting for them!!
Yay that’s so wonderful to see, and even better to see that a cuckoo didn’t get her egg in there either! They are so cramped in there, you can’t imagine they’d be able to fit in there for much longer! 😄 What wonderful parents they are too! Thanks James for the update, great story!
Really great pics too btw! 👍🏼😀
Definitely rooting for them! Keep us updated!
I’m certainly rooting for them James! Bird life is so threatened in most parts of the world that I place them all in the same category as the Wild Dogs, endangered and or vulnerable. Wonderful close up’s. 🙏💕
Perhaps they are being considerate and thinking “In lockdown? We will come to you.”
Hello James I don’t think a species is more valuable than another as each has its place in the natural chain. Loved the little chicks!
Maybe not wild dogs but still very cute and interesting
The pictures are super, it’s nice to see the clarity and detail. That nest is really crowded though… Good luck Drongo’s!
Most interesting to watch the development of the progeny in this family! Doesn’t have to be about the bigger wild life. Birds are equally interesting to watch when there is a little story like this unfolding! Thank you, James! Wendy M
Interesting! Great chick pics.
will definitely root for the three chicks. must be fun to have them close to camp so you can keep an eye on them! Victoria
It’s always special to find birds on the nest!!
The nest looks to be well made unlike other nests that are very untidy and flimsy.