About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Friday, September 05, 2008
The Greater Spangled Drongo
Matt Preston's guide to the different types of foodies was a fun poke at all the food obsessed folk around town, including bloggers. Showed it to an ornithologist mate who reckoned Preston shouldn't have left out the Greater Spangled Drongo, which is extremely closely related to the Spangled Drongo covered, but are in fact two different species, though some crossover has been known to occur.

The following is a rough guide to this quite unique and rare bird.

The Greater Spangled Drongo

Common names Restaurant Critic, Food Critic

Habitat Spends large amounts of daylight hours alone in the forest, pretending they can't hear the chatter of the Spangled Drongos, then flocking to restaurants in both small and large groups, which are easily identified by the cowering owners hovering nearby. For some inexplicable reason, they are unable to fly far and therefore congregate around inner suburban eateries, unless they get lost on the way and are begrudgingly forced to eat before the long return trip from the 'burbs.

Recognition A notebook and pencil are a dead giveaway, which they use many ruses to cover up; they might be scribbling on the margins of a newspaper or cleverly reading a book that in fact contains their notes. A stolen menu inevitably means that one has just flown the coop. In a territorial display, they like to puff up their plumage and viciously peck at Spangled Drongos, whom apparently irritate them no end.

Mating calls These are creatures that prefer to work alone, but will socialize in order to hand out business cards that contain as much contact information as possible. This extends to the articles they write which always have their email addresses at the end. This makes them more like Spangled Drongos than they care to admit.

Habit Have strong opinions which are usually well expressed, but unfortunately, their research can sometimes be sloppy, which was alright until bloggers came along, more care required.

Status They wield enormous power over people's livelihoods, if you get on the right side of them, the benefits are enormous, woe betide anyone who causes them gastric reflux, their pen can feel more like a dagger.
  posted at 12:49 pm

At 3:22 pm, Blogger Ed Charles said...


At 7:38 pm, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Are you sure their rare? We seem to have a large flock of those in Dallas.
Good one Neil!

At 7:50 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nicely done, Neil. I was wondering if you'd rise to the occasion, as you hadn't reacted to Matt's article already. :)

At 8:55 pm, Blogger Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Aha! I've spotted this species in New England, too.

At 11:06 am, Blogger thanh7580 said...

Good one Neil.

This species is fairly rare to find in your outer suburban forests though. I've yet to see one in the flesh.

At 6:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good pick up Neil. Wonder why Matt Preston missed it. Could be a case of birds of a feather that don't flock together!

At 9:49 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi ed, thanks!

Hi tanna, come on, everything is bigger in Texas!!!

Hi duncan, I didn't read the original article until I realized at Melb Gastronome that we'd been slagged and then thought it such a shame that reviewers had been left out...

Hi lydia, they're everywhere, aren't they?

Hi thanh, you're right, they don't fly far from the nest.

Hi elliot, perhaps their specialness keeps them apart!

At 10:34 am, Blogger Thermomixer said...

Hi Neil, I was going to put something similar together and send to Matt to publish after having read the article. It appeared on the morning after the GFG Awards night & I was seated behind Joanna Savill and Simon Thomsen (John Lehtlean equivalent from Good Living in SMH)on a plane to Sydney while JS was having a good chuckle about Buyus thermomixus and the Drongos.

Really had to laugh at the situation of me morphing from Dollarbird to Drongo and contacted Matt who responded to my email by sending back the info on the

"Black-Throated Butcherbird, aka The Painted Snipe aka The Superb Bare-Faced Lyrebird aka The Total Bustard.

Common Name: The Restaurant Reviewer.

Habitat - Seldom found in the same place twice. Anywhere new. Anywhere that takes American Express.

Habit - This avian is carrion, loving to pick over a carcass and is closely related to vulture and the UK’s Sharp-Tongued or Wandering Tattler.

Still think that the original is funny but yours is extra funny. Need to add - Will migrate extremely long distances on rare occasions (eg Dunkeld, Daylesford, El Bulli); originally, like Lyrebirds, were heard but not seen, but now have morphed to peacocks and parade themselves in front of TV cameras to ensure they are recognised by all; will befriend new chefs and restaurateurs, then without warning, viciously attack and maim or kill them.

It's only a joke!!

At 9:30 pm, Blogger Jeanne said...

LOL - at both the original and your improvement. The mating calls are the best...


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