Birds of Morni: Asian Koel

Asian Koel (Eudynamis orientalis) – is a large long-tailed cuckoo, about the size of a house crow, though slenderer. The male is a glistening black with a yellowish-green beak and crimson eyes. The female is brown and is heavily spotted and barred with buff and white. Koels are very vocal during the breeding season from April to August that coincides exactly with that of crows. It feeds on fruit, berries, eggs, caterpillars and insects. Koels prefer large leafy trees. The male’s familiar song ‘koo-Ooo’ figures prominently in Indian poetry.

Koel (Male)
Koel (Male)
Koel (Female)
Koel (Female)

Koel is a ‘brood parasite’ and lays its eggs in the nest of the crow (and other hosts like the Black Drongo) who raise its young.

Baby Koel with foster-mom crow (Photo courtesy KS Bains)
Baby Koel with foster-mom crow (Photo courtesy KS Bains)
Baby koel being fed by foster mom crow (Photo courtesy KS Bains)
Baby koel being fed by foster mom crow (Photo courtesy KS Bains)

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