Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Asian Koel

The Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes. It is found in South AsiaChina, and Southeast Asia. It forms a super species with the closely related Black-billed and Pacific Koels which are sometimes treated as subspecies. The Asian Koel is a brood parasite that lays its eggs in the nests of crows and other hosts, who raise its young. They are unusual among the cuckoos in being largely frugivorous as adults. The name koel is echoic in origin with several language variants. The bird is a widely used symbol in Indian poetry.

THIS IS A FEMALE ASIAN KOEL FEEDING ON CHINESE
FAN PALM.
The Asian Koel is a large, long-tailed, cuckoo measuring 39–46 cm (15–18 in) and weighing 190–327 g (6.7–11.5 oz). The male of the nominate race is glossy bluish-black, with a pale greenish grey bill, the iris is crimson, and it has grey legs and feet. The female of the nominate race is brownish on the crown and has rufous streaks on the head. The back, rump and wing coverts are dark brown with white and buff spots. The underparts are whitish, but is heavily striped. The upper plumage of young birds is more like that of the male and they have a black beak. They are very vocal during the breeding season (March to August in South Asia), with a range of different calls. The familiar song of the male is a repeated koo-Ooo. The female makes a shrill kik-kik-kik... call.Calls vary across populations.The Asian Koel is a bird of light woodland and cultivation.It is a mainly resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from India and SriLanka to south China and the Greater Sundas. They have great potential in colonizing new areas, and were among the pioneer birds to colonize the volcanic island of Krakatau. They first arrived in Singapore in the 1980s and became very common birds.

THIS IS A PICTURE OF A CROW FEEDING
AN ASIAN KOEL.
The Asian Koel is a brood parasite, and lays its single egg in the nests of a variety of birds, including the Jungle crow and the House crow.The Asian Koel is omnivorous, consuming a variety of insectscaterpillars, eggs and small vertebrates. Adults feed mainly on fruit. They will sometimes defend fruiting trees that they forage in and chase away other frugivores. 
They have been known to occasionally take eggs of small birds.They feed on the fruits of Thevetia peruviana which are known to be toxic to mammals.A number of parasites of the species have been described, including malaria-like protozoa, lice and nematodes.
These birds were once very popular in India as cagebirds. Feeding even on boiled rice, these hardy birds lived in captivity for as long as 14 years.This bird has a strong association with the Traditional new year celebrations of SriLanka. In the literature around the festival, the song of the bird is regarded as heralding the traditional new year. This bird is known as the'' koha ''in Sri Lanka by the Sinhala speaking community.



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