Drongo tussle at Ranthambore: Rolling for love...or death?
We observed them from our rented Maruti Gypsy for nearly 6 minutes. All along, these two birds had locked their beaks, were rolling over and over and screaming at the top of their voice.
Many safari vehicles had to take a detour off the game road as these determined birds refused to budge.
I though this was a very intense battle, the likes of which I have rarely witnessed in birds of the same species.
Is this war...or love?
Well-known birder Shyamal.L, who is the person behind the wonderful software Birdspot forwarded me the following note from the Journal of Bombay Natural History Society (JBNHS). Shukkur,EAA & Joseph,KJ (1978). "Breeding biology of the Black Drongo". J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 75 (4): 1212-1226.
"... signs of courtship. Such pairs indulge in duetting and vigorous pursuit flights. ...... A nesting pair indulges in vigorous courtship activities. Such birds chase each other in flight and bring their bills and wings into contact as though in sham fight. In the course of this their wings get interlocked and the pair may fall to the ground."
This is more weirder than the acts of them fighting intense duels for someone from the opposite sex. There is no way I can tell if the birds involved in the action I captured were of the different sex. If they were, then boy, these are not only fighters but some real 'bloody' love making birds as well!
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