Asian Koel:

Asian Koel birds photographed in natural Habitat. Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes. The name koel is echoic in origin with several language variants. The bird is a widely used symbol in Indian poetry.

Asian Koel male & female

The word “Koel” is derived from the Hindi word which is onomatopoeic in origin. The Sanskrit root is “Kokila” and the words in various Indian languages are similar. It is traditionally held in high regard for its song and held in reverence with the Manusmriti, an ancient decree protecting them from harm. The Vedas, Sanskrit literature dated to about 2000 BC referred to it as Anya-Vapa which meant “that was raised by others”. This has been interpreted as the earliest knowledge of brood parasitism. Being familiar birds with loud calls, references to them are common in folklore, myth and poetry. It has been chosen as the state bird by the southern Indian state of Puducherry or Pondicherry.

Asian Koel2

Asian koel3

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 are heavily striped. The other subspecies differ in coloration and size. 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.

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