Do racket-tailed drongos make tree guards for their nest trees?

In: Behaviour
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  • 1 Animal Behaviour and Cognition Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru 560012, India
  • | 2 Muthagadagadde podu, B.R. Hills, Yelandur, Karnataka 571441, India
  • | 3 ATREE, B.R. Hills, Yelandur, Karnataka 571441, India
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Greater racket-tailed drongos are renowned for their splendid mimicking abilities, and for their significant roles within mixed species flocks in the Old World tropics. Yet, we know little about their basic ecology and breeding behaviour. Here we describe a set of unique behaviours of these drongos during their nesting season. Racket-tailed drongos nested in trees in an open patch of forest, often returning to the same tree year after year. The nesting pair also smoothened the bark of the nest tree trunk with their beaks. These findings suggest that the nest tree is a crucial resource for this species, and have implications for the cognitive abilities of drongos, as well as for hitherto unknown interactions between an avian species and tropical forest trees.

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