New species of white bellied drongo found
12:00 AM, February 16, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:14 AM, February 16, 2018

Nature Quest

New species of white bellied drongo found

A species of drongo, not seen by experts in the country before, has been spotted in Rajshahi city's Shimla Park recently.

The bird, found by a group of bird-watchers, has a distinctive white belly and vent.

After examining its size, black upper side gradually fading into a shade of brown and other features, ornithologists identified it as an adult white-bellied drongo.

“The discovery means that the bird has now extended its habitat to Bangladesh, which is very important to the country's natural biodiversity,” eminent ornithologist Reza Khan, who scrutinised the pictures taken by bird-watchers, told The Daily Star.

Known as Dicrurus caerulescens, the bird is believed to be a resident of India and Sri Lanka, he said.

No other record of seeing the bird in Bangladesh is known to experts, Reza, also a wildlife specialist of Dubai Zoo, added.

With tall trees, especially Bombax Ceiba or shimul, Shimla Park on the bank of Padma, is a heaven for bird-watchers.

The nectar of bombax and insects of the park attract many migratory and local birds.

Four bird-watchers spotted the drongo on February 9 and took its pictures.

“I knew it had to be a new one as soon as I saw the bird on a branch of shimul,” Ali Reza, one of the bird-watchers, said.

“The bird has distinctive white belly and vent.”

He alerted his companions, who managed to take a few good pictures before the bird disappeared.

With the pictures, they later started asking experts about the identity of the bird.

Enthusiasts from across the country, overseas, and members of Bangladesh Bird Club confirmed agreed that the bird was a white-bellied drongo, Maroof Rana, another member of the group, said.

Considering that drongos have a habit of travelling in groups, it is highly likely that there are more of them around, Reza Khan said.

The Encyclopaedia of Flora and Fauna of Bangladesh has recorded some 700 species of birds, said Khan.

It mentions the possibility of finding white-bellied drongo in the country since the bird's actual habitat is in the West Bengal and Odisha, he added.

An insectivore, the white-bellied drongo often pursue nectar of flowers as well.

Drongos play a role in pollination and eradication of harmful insects, he observed.

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