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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Kuu...Koooo....Kuu....Kooo...Kuuu... Its Koel !!

The word KOEL also means "nightingale" in India because of the Indian Koel's melodious call. It is also colloquially known as the "Rainbird or Stormbird" in eastern Australia, as its call is supposed to foreshadow rain.

Formerly also Common Koel, the Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea), is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes, which also includes such birds as the roadrunners, the anis, and couas. It is found from southern Asia, China, and into Australia. Like many cuckoos, it lays its eggs in other birds' nests and efficiently shows "brood parasitism".

The male is bluish-black, with a pale green bill, rich red eyes, and grey legs and feet. The female is brownish above and whitish below, but is heavily striped and spotted brown on the underparts and white on the upperparts. She has an olive or green beak and red eyes.

Koels are very vocal, with a number of different calls.Though Asian Koel is omnivorous, consuming a variety of insects, caterpillars, eggs and small vertebrates, the adults predominantly feed on fruits and hence are mostly frugivores, easily spotted on trees of Psidium, Michelia, Mangifera. It has occasionally been known to take eggs of small birds.

The Asian Koel is a bird of light woodland and cultivation. It is a mainly resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka to south China and Australasia. Birds at the fringes of the range, such as much of Eastern Australia, and on high ground are summer visitors, migrating to warmer areas in winter. They have great potential in colonizing new areas. They first arrived in Singapore in the 1980s and became very common birds.

Associated with typical ethology,Koels are brood parasites, and lay their single egg in the nests of a variety of birds, including the Jungle Crow,House Crow and various species of honeyeaters. They may also parasitize Black-headed Orioles.

1 comment:

jackie said...

Thanks for this post. I've been hearing a lot of these Koels lately in my neighbourhood, esp the male ones. It seems they are a very invasive species.