The Tablas Drongo

Dicrurus menagei

A photo of a Tablas Drongo perched on a vine above a stream, by Desmond Allen.

The Tablas Drongo is known for its unique tail feathers that fork and twist at the ends. It has even been observed to open and close this end of the tail when singing!1 Listen to the song of the Tablas Drongo here!:

It can only be found on the Philippine island of Tablas.

The Tablas Drongo is named after Tablas island, the only place where it can be found in the world.

It is mostly glossless black with a purple tinge, giving it a velvety, rather than glossy appearance. Because of these traits, in addition to a thicker tail, the Tablas Drongo was made its own species, separate from its cousin the Hair-crested Drongo, which doesn't live on Tablas island1.

It eats insects by scanning leaves and trunks, and also by a method called "hawking" where it catches insects in-flight.

The Tablas Drongo is an endangered species2

Since the beginning of the 20th century forest clearance on the island of Tablas has greatly lowered the Tablas Drongo population while today much of the island is now used for cultivation and livestock-rearing. Small-scale logging is still being observed on the island contributing to the endangered status of the Tablas Drongo2.

How you can help

The following organizations contribute not only to the conservation of this particular species, but to the diverse range of birds found in the Philippines.

The Wild Bird Club of the Philippines

Established in 2003, The Wild Bird Club of the Philippines is the pioneer bird watching club in the nation dedicated to promoting bird watching as a hobby and as a responsible way of enjoying the Philippines' most coveted natural habitats. The volunteer-led club contributes to the conservation of Philippine endangered birds by promoting bird watching as a healthy and recreational practice, encouraging responsible behavior from local communities and tourists alike, as well as environmentally-responsible policies from local governments and officials.

The Haribon Foundation

Started in 1972, Haribon, named after the Philippine Eagle's name in Filipino for "Bird King", gave birth to the Philippine environmental movement. Eventually coupling itself with international conservation organizations such as BirdLife International and the World Wildlife Fund, Haribon has contributed greatly not only to help establish conservation reserves and parks for Philippine birds and other species domestically, but to publications that put the Philippines on the map internationally in regards to its unique but endangered bird populations.

The Philippine Eagle Foundation

Since 1987 the Philippine Eagle Foundation has been focused on saving the Philippine Eagle and consequently saving hundreds of other species that live within its forest realms in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. With the help of donors and grants, the foundation conducts research, rehabilitation, and captive breeding programs.

Help endangered birds worldwide

BirdLife International is the world's largest partnership of conservation organizations. 117 organizations make up this partnership in over 100 countries across the globe, including the Philippine's own Haribon Foundation. Together, they create bird mascots and flagships to help push for the conservation of endangered birds, consequently conserving the forests they reside and the other wildlife in these areas. By doing so they conserve biodiversity in these areas to improve the quality of people's lives and integrating bird conservation into sustaining people's livelihoods. A symbiotic relationship is then created between people and the environment, as opposed to the "one uses the other" practice that is currently established the world over.

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*This site is not affiliated with the "Angry Birds" game, Rovio, or Jaakko Iisalo, and is for educational purposes only. Learn more about the illustrator here. If you find any errors please let me know!


1. Birdlife species factsheet on the Tablas Drongo.

2. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Dicrurus menagei (Tablas Drongo).