Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Surniculus lugubris Horsfield, 1821

Species:S. lugubris
Common Names:Drongo Cuckoo
Status:Uncommon resident and winter visitor


The population S. l. barussarum ranges from Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore to Sumatra, Borneo.

S. l. dicruroides breeds throughout the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka, China, southeast Asia, the Greater Sundas, Bali, the Philippines, Sulawesi to the Moluccas. Northern populations migrate to Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, and north Natuna Island.


In Singapore, the species has been recorded at Bidadari, Bukit Batok Nature Park, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Changi, Mount Faber, Poyan, Pulau Ubin, Sentosa, St John's Island, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

Locality Map

General Biology

The Drongo Cuckoo frequents forests, secondary woodland and forest edges.

It parasitises on the Pin-striped Tit-babbler (Macronus gularis) in Singapore. The foster parent is about half the size of the adoptive chick and during feeding of the fledging, the large red gape of the latter is big enough to swallow the former. Feeding such a large chick, not to mention juvenile, will demand much work from the smaller foster parents. Over in nearby Malaysia, a Chestnut-winged Babbler (Stachyris erythroptera) was photographed feeding a similarly large Drongo Cuckoo fledgling.


The Drongo Cuckoo feeds mainly on caterpillars,insects, spiders, and sometimes figs.


Wang, L. K. 2011. Cuckoos. Pp. 283. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors). Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development. Editions Didier Millet, Singapore. 552 pp.

Wang, L.K. & Hails, C.J. 2007. An annotated checklist of birds of Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement 15: 1–179, Singapore.

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