Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Square-tailed drongo-cuckoo

Thai: นกคัคคูแซงแซว, nok khak-khū saeng-saeo

Binomial name: Surniculus lugubris, Thomas Horsfield, 1821

The Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo (Surniculus lugubris) is a species of cuckoo that resembles a Black Drongo. It is found in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia and is a summer visitor to the Himalayas from Kashmir to eastern Bangladesh. The calls are series of piercing sharp whistles rising in pitch but shrill and choppily delivered. It can be easily distinguished by its straight beak and the white barred vent and outer undertail, and the tail only notched with slightly flared tips. In flight a white wing-stripe is visible from below. It is a brood parasite on small babblers. It is not known how or whether the drongo-like appearance benefits this species but it is suspected that it aids in brood-parasitism just as hawk-cuckoos appear like hawks.

Some recent work suggested that the species was conspecific with the Fork-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo and together known as the Asian Drongo-Cuckoo, but should be split based on call and morphological differences:. That treatment is taken here.

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Scientific classification

Surniculus lugubris

Common names

  • English: Square-tailed drongo-cuckoo
  • Thai: นกคัคคูแซงแซว, nok khak-khū saeng-saeo

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Distribution map of Square-tailed drongo-cuckoo, Surniculus lugubris in Thailand

Range map of Surniculus lugubris in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

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