Indian Birds

Birds of India is the home of 12.6% of all Avian species of the Earth and amongst one of the seventeen mega-diverse countries. It has some of the world’s most bio-diverse regions and encompass a wide range of eco-zones i.e desert, high mountains, highlands, tropical and temperate forests, swampland, plains, grasslands, areas surrounding rivers, as well as island archipelago. It hosts 4 biodiversity hot-spots: the Western Ghats, the Himalayas, the Indo-Burma region and the Sunderland Includes Nicobar group of Islands. These hot-spots have numerous endemic species.

Brown Seagull R2197
Brown-headed Gull

Brown-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus) is a small gull which breeds in the high plateaus of central Asia from Tajikistan to Ordos in Inner Mongolia. It is migratory, wintering on the coasts and large inland lakes of the Indian Subcontinent. As is the case with many gulls, was traditionally placed in the genus Larus. This gull breeds in colonies in large reedbeds or marshes, or on islands in lakes, nesting on the ground. Like most gulls, it is highly gregarious in winter, both when feeding or in evening roosts. It is not a pelagic species, and is rarely seen at sea far from coasts. This is a bold and opportunist feeder, which will scavenge in towns or take invertebrates in ploughed fields with equal relish. The brown-headed gull is slightly larger than black-headed gull. The summer adult has a pale brown head, lighter than that of black-headed, a pale grey body, and red bill and legs. The black tips to the primary wing feathers have conspicuous white “mirrors”. The underwing is grey with black flight feathers. The brown hood is lost in winter, leaving just dark vertical streaks. This bird takes two years to reach maturity. First year birds have a black terminal tail band, more dark areas in the wings, and, in summer, a less homogeneous hood.

Woodpeckers D3755
Woodpecker Bird

Woodpeckers are part of the family Picidae, a group of near-passerine birds that also consist of piculets, wrynecks, and sapsuckers. Members of this family are found worldwide, except for Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand, Madagascar, and the extreme polar regions. Most species live in forests or woodland habitats, although a few species are known that live in treeless areas, such as rocky hillsides and deserts, and the Gila woodpecker specialises in exploiting cacti. Members of this family are chiefly known for their characteristic behavior; they mostly forage for insect prey on the trunks and branches of trees, and often communicate by drumming with their beak, producing a reverberatory sound that can be heard at some distance. Some species vary their diet with fruits, birds’ eggs and small animals, and tree sap. They mostly nest and roost in holes that they excavate in tree trunks, and their abandoned holes are of importance to other cavity-nesting birds. They sometimes come into conflict with humans when they make holes in buildings or feed on fruit crops, but perform a useful service by their removal of insect pests on trees.

Great Cormorant D8881
Great Black Cormorant

Great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), known as the great black cormorant across the Northern Hemisphere, the black cormorant in Australia, the large cormorant in India and the black shag further south in New Zealand, is a widespread member of the cormorant family of seabirds. The great cormorant is a large black bird, but there is a wide variation in size in the species wide range. They are tied as the second largest extant species of cormorant after the flightless cormorant. Great cormorants are mostly silent, but they make various guttural noises at their breeding colonies. This is a very common and widespread bird species. It feeds on the sea, in estuaries, and on freshwater lakes and rivers. The great cormorant often nests in colonies near wetlands, rivers, and sheltered inshore waters. Pairs will use the same nest site to breed year after year. It builds its nest, which is made from sticks, in trees, on the ledges of cliffs, and on the ground on rocky islands that are free of predators. The great cormorant feeds on fish caught through diving. This bird feeds primarily on wrasses, but it also takes sand smelt and common soles. The average weight of fish taken by great cormorants increased with decreasing air and water temperature. Cormorants consume all fish of appropriate size that they are able to catch in summer and noticeably select for larger, mostly torpedo-shaped fish in winter. Thus, the winter elevation of foraging efficiency described for cormorants by various researchers is due to capturing larger fish not due to capturing more fish. Many fishermen see in the great cormorant a competitor for fish. Because of this, it was hunted nearly to extinction in the past but nowadays with increasing populations have once again brought the cormorant into conflict with fisheries.

Black Drongo D9092
Black Drongo

Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus) is a small Asian passerine bird of the drongo family Dicruridae. It is a common resident breeder in much of tropical southern Asia from southwest Iran through India and Sri Lanka east to southern China and Indonesia. It is a wholly black bird with a distinctive forked tail and measures 28 cm (11 in) in length. It feeds on insects, and is common in open agricultural areas and light forest throughout its range, perching conspicuously on a bare perch or along power or telephone lines. The species is known for its aggressive behaviour towards much larger birds, such as crows, never hesitating to dive-bomb any bird of prey that invades its territory. This behaviour earns it the informal name of king crow. Smaller birds often nest in the well-guarded vicinity of a nesting black drongo. Previously grouped along with the African fork-tailed drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis), the Asian forms are now treated as a separate species with several distinct populations. The black drongo is found predominantly in open country and usually perches and hunts close to the ground. They are mostly aerial predators of insects but also glean from the ground or off vegetation. They are found as summer visitors to northeastern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan but are residents from the Indus Valley until Bangladesh and into India and Sri Lanka. The black drongo can be found in savannas, fields, and urban habitats.

Green Pigeon R1519
Yellow legged Green Pigeon

Yellow-footed green Pigeon (Treron phoenicoptera), also known as yellow-legged green pigeon, is a common species of green pigeon found in the Indian subcontinent. It is the state bird of Maharashtra. In Marathi it is called Hariyal. The species feeds on fruit, including many species of Ficus. They forage in flocks. In the early morning they are often seen sunning on the tops of emergent trees in dense forest areas. They especially are found sitting in couples on tree branches. Yellow-footed Green Pigeon feeds on fruits common fruits, nuts, seeds and some edible seeds also. They dwell in trees and occupy a variety of wooded habitats. Members of this genus can be further grouped into species with long tails, medium-length tails, and wedge-shaped tails. Most species of green pigeon display sexual dimorphism, where males and females can be readily distinguished by different colored plumage.

Coppersmith Barbet R1579
Coppersmith Barbet Bird

Coppersmith Barbet, crimson-breasted barbet or coppersmith (Psilopogon haemacephalus), is a bird with crimson forehead and throat which is best known for its metronomic call that has been likened to a coppersmith striking metal with a hammer. It is a resident found in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. Like other barbets, they chisel out a hole inside a tree to build their nest. They are mainly fruit eating but will take sometimes insects, especially winged termites. This species of barbet is found to overlap in range with several larger barbets in most of South Asia. In the Western Ghats, it partly overlaps with the Malabar barbet which is of a very similar size but having a more rapid call. The red forehead, yellow eye-ring and throat patch with streaked underside and green upperparts, it is fairly distinctive. Juveniles are duller and lack the red patches. The sexes are alike. The Sri Lankan form has more black on the face, more red on the breast and darker streaks on the underside. During the nesting season, the wear and tear on the feathers can cause the plumage of the upper back to appear bluish. Within the Old World barbets in their genus, they are found to be basal in phylogenetic analyses. Most of the remaining Asian species are more recent in their divergence and speciation. About nine subspecies are well recognized. Throughout their wide range they are found in gardens, groves and sparse woodland. Habitats with trees having dead wood suitable for excavation is said to be important. Birds nest and roost in cavities. In the Palni Hills of southern India it is said to occur below 4000 feet.[6] In the Himalayas it is found mainly in the valleys of the outer Himalayas up to 3000 feet. They are rare in the dry desert zones and the very wet forests.

Green Bee-eater R4479
Green bee-eater Bird

Green Bee-Eater (Merops orientalis) (sometimes little green bee-eater) is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family. It is resident but prone to seasonal movements and is found widely distributed across sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal and the Gambia to Ethiopia, the Nile valley, western Arabia and Asia through India to Vietnam. They are mainly insect eaters and they are found in grassland, thin scrub and forest often quite far from water. Several regional plumage variations are known and several subspecies have been named. Like other bee-eaters, this species is a richly colored, slender bird. The sexes are not visually distinguishable. The entire plumage is bright green and tinged with blue especially on the chin and throat. The crown and upper back are tinged with golden rufous. The flight feathers are rufous washed with green and tipped with blackish. A fine black line runs in front of and behind the eye. The iris is crimson and the bill is black while the legs are dark grey. The feet are weak with the three toes joined at the base. Southeast Asian birds have rufus crown and face, and green underparts, whereas Arabian beludschicus has a green crown, blue face and bluish underparts. The wings are green and the beak is black. The elongated tail feathers are absent in juveniles.

Kingfisher Bird R1774
White Kingfisher মাছরাঙা

White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) also known as the white-breasted kingfisher is a tree kingfisher, widely distributed in Asia from Turkey east through the Indian subcontinent to the Philippines. This kingfisher is a resident over much of its range, although some populations may make short distance movements. It can often be found well away from water where it feeds on a wide range of prey that includes small reptiles, amphibians, crabs, small rodents and even birds. During the breeding season they call loudly in the mornings from prominent perches including the tops of buildings in urban areas or on wires. White-throated kingfisher is a common species of a variety of habitats, mostly open country in the plains (but has been seen at 7500 ft in the Himalayas) with trees, wires or other perches. The range of the species is expanding. This kingfisher is widespread and populations are not threatened. Average density of 4.58 individuals per Sq-km. has been noted in the Sundarbans mangroves of Indian subcontinent. The adult Kingfisher has a bright blue back, wings and tail. Its head, shoulders, flanks and lower belly are chestnut, and the throat and breast are white. The large bill and legs are bright red. The flight of the white-throated kingfisher is rapid and direct, the short rounded wings whirring. In flight, large white patches are visible on the blue and black wings but juveniles are a duller version of the adult.

Cuckoo R1699
Cuckoo Birds

The cuckoos are a family of birds, Cuculidae, the sole taxon in the order Cuculiformes. The cuckoo family includes the common or European cuckoo, roadrunners, koels, malkohas, couas, coucals and anis. The coucals and anis are sometimes separated as distinct families, the Centropodidae and Crotophagidae respectively. The cuckoo order Cuculiformes is one of three that make up the Otidimorphae, the other two being the turacos and the bustards. The cuckoos are generally medium-sized slender birds. Most species live in trees, though a sizable minority are ground-dwelling. The family has a cosmopolitan distribution, with the majority of species being tropical. Some species are migratory. The cuckoos feed on insects, insect larvae and a variety of other animals, as well as fruit. Some species are brood parasites, laying their eggs in the nests of other species, but the majority of species raise their own young. The feathers of the cuckoos are generally soft, and often become waterlogged in heavy rain. Cuckoos often sun themselves after rain, and the anis hold their wings open in the manner of a vulture or cormorant while drying. There is considerable variation in the plumage exhibited by the family. Some species, particularly the brood parasites have cryptic plumage, whereas others have bright and elaborate plumage.

Little Egret R3046
Little Egret

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) is a species of small heron in the family Ardeidae. It is a white bird with a slender black beak, long black legs and, in the western race, yellow feet. As an aquatic bird, it feeds in shallow water and on land, consuming a variety of small creatures. It breeds colonially, often with other species of water birds, making a platform nest of sticks in a tree, bush or reed bed. A clutch of bluish-green eggs is laid and incubated by both parents. The young fledge at about six weeks of age. Its breeding distribution is in wetlands in warm temperate to tropical parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. A successful colonist, its range has gradually expanded north, with stable and self-sustaining populations. In warmer locations, most birds are permanent residents; northern populations, including many European birds, migrate to Africa and southern Asia to over-winter there. The birds may also wander north in late summer after the breeding season, and their tendency to disperse may have assisted in the recent expansion of the bird’s range. Little egrets are mostly silent but make various croaking and bubbling calls at their breeding colonies and produce a harsh alarm call when disturbed.

Asian Openbill R3776
Asian Openbill শামুকখোল

Asian openbill stork (Anastomus oscitans) is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. This distinctive stork is found mainly in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It is grayish or white with glossy black wings and tail and the adults have a gap between the arched upper mandible and recurved lower mandible. Young birds are born without this gap which is thought to be an adaptation that aids in the handling of snails, their main prey. Although resident within their range, they make long distance movements in response to weather and food availability. The Asian openbill stork is predominantly grayish (non-breeding season) or white (breeding season) with glossy black wings and tail that have a green or purple sheen. The name is derived from the distinctive gap formed between the recurved lower and arched upper mandible of the beak in adult birds. Young birds do not have this gap. The cutting edges of the mandible have a fine brush like structure that is thought to give them better grip on the shells of snails. The tail consists of twelve feathers and the preen gland has a tuft. The mantle is black and the bill is horn-grey. At a distance, they can appear somewhat like a white stork or Oriental stork. The short legs are pinkish to grey, reddish prior to breeding. Non-breeding birds have a smoky grey wings and back instead of white. Young birds are brownish-grey and have a brownish mantle. Like other storks, the Asian openbill is a broad-winged soaring bird, which relies on moving between thermals of hot air for sustained flight. They are usually found in flocks but single birds are not uncommon. Like all storks, it flies with its neck outstretched.

Black-necked Stork R3776
Black-necked Stork

Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) is a tall long-necked wading bird in the stork family. It is a resident species across the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia with a disjunct population in Australia. It lives in wetland habitats and certain crops such as rice and wheat where it forages for a wide range of animal prey. Adult birds of both sexes have a heavy bill and are patterned in white and glossy blacks, but the sexes differ in the colour of the iris. In Australia, it is sometimes called a jabiru although that name refers to a stork species found in the Americas. It is one of the few storks that is strongly territorial when feeding. Adults have a glossy bluish-black iridescent head, neck, secondary flight feathers and tail; a coppery-brown crown; a bright white back and belly; bill black with a slightly concave upper edge; and bright red legs. The sexes are identical but the adult female has a yellow iris while the adult male has it brown. Juveniles younger than six months have a brownish iris; a distinctly smaller and straighter beak; a fluffy appearance; brown head, neck, upper back, wings and tail; a white belly; and dark legs. Juveniles older than six months have a mottled appearance especially on the head and neck where the iridescence is partly developed; dark-brown outer primaries; white inner primaries that forms a shoulder patch when the wings are closed; a heavy beak identical in size to adults but still straighter; and dark to pale-pink legs. In India, the species is widespread in the west, central highlands, and northern Genetic plains into the Assam valley, but rare in peninsular India.

Grey Pelican R4076
Spot-billed Pelican

Spot-billed Pelican or grey pelican (Pelecanus philippensis) is a member of the pelican family. It breeds in southern Asia across India east to Indonesia. It is a bird of large inland and coastal waters, especially large lakes. At a distance they are difficult to differentiate from other pelicans in the region although it is smaller but at close range the spots on the upper mandible, the lack of bright colors and the grayer plumage are distinctive. In some areas these birds nest in large colonies close to human habitations. It is mainly white, with a grey crest, hindneck and a brownish tail. The feathers on the hind neck are curly and form a greyish nape crest. The pouch is pink to purplish and has large pale spots, and is also spotted on the sides of the upper mandible. The tip of the bill (or nail) is yellow to orange. In breeding plumage, the skin at the base of the beak is dark and the orbital patch is pink. In flight they look not unlike the Dalmatian pelican but the tertials and inner secondaries are darker and a pale band runs along the greater coverts. The tail is rounder. The newly hatched young are covered in white down. They then molt into a grayish speckled plumage. The spots on the bill appear only after a year. The full adult breeding plumage appears in their third year.

Santragachi Jheel D3553
Lesser whistling Duck

Lesser whistling Duck (Dendrocygna javanica), also known as Indian whistling duck or lesser whistling teal, is a species of whistling duck that breeds in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. They are nocturnal feeders that during the day may be found in flocks around lakes and wet paddy fields. They can perch on trees and sometimes build their nest in the hollow of a tree. This brown and long-necked duck has broad wings that are visible in flight and produces a loud two-note wheezy call. It has a chestnut rump, differentiating it from its larger relative, the fulvous whistling duck, which has a creamy white rump. Having chestnut upper-tail coverts unlike the creamy white in the latter. The ring around the eye is orange to yellow. When flying straight, their head is held below the level of the body as in other Dendrocygna species. The crown appears dark and the sexes are alike in plumage. They fly slowly but with rapid wing-flapping and usually produce a repetitive wheezy seasick call as they circle overhead. They are very nocturnal and often rest during the day. The outermost primary feather has the inner vane modified. They produce very prominent whistling sound while flying. This is a largely resident species distributed widely across lowland wetlands of the Indian subcontinent including the Andaman, Nicobar and Southeast Asia.

Parrot Bird R1429
Ringneck Parrot

Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri), also known as the ring-necked parakeet, is a gregarious tropical Afro-Asian parakeet species that has an extremely large range.The rose-ringed parakeet is sexually dimorphic. The adult male sports a red or black neck ring and the hen and immature birds of both sexes either show no neck rings, or display shadow-like pale to dark grey neck rings. Both sexes have a distinctive green color. In the wild, this is a noisy species with an unmistakable squawking call, and captive individuals can be taught to speak. It is herbivorous and not migratory. One of the few parrot species that have successfully adapted to living in disturbed habitats, it has withstood the onslaught of urbanization and deforestation. In the wild, rose-ringed parakeets usually feed on buds, fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, and seeds. Wild flocks also fly several miles to forage in farmlands and orchards, causing extensive damage. In captivity, rose-ringed parakeets will take a large variety of food and can be fed on a number of fruits, vegetables, pellets, seeds, and even small amounts of cooked meat for protein. In north-west India, Indian rose-ringed parakeets form pairs from September to December. They do not have life mates and often breed with another partner during the following breeding season. During this cold season, they select and defend nest sites, thus avoiding competition for sites with other birds. Feeding on winter pea crops provides the female with nutrients necessary for egg production. From April to June, they care for their young. Fledglings are ready to leave the nest before monsoon.

Pond Heron R2811
Indian Pond Heron

Indian pond Heron or paddybird (Ardeola grayii) is a small heron. It is of Old World origins, breeding in southern Iran and east to Pakistan, India, Burma, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. They are widespread and common but can be easily missed when they stalk prey at the edge of small water-bodies or even when they roost close to human habitations. They are however distinctive when they take off with bright white wings flashing in contrast to the cryptic streaked olive and brown colors of the body. Their camouflage is so excellent that they can be approached closely before they take to flight, a behavior which has resulted in folk names and beliefs that the birds are short-sighted or blind. They appear stocky with a short neck, short thick bill and buff-brown back. In summer, adults have long neck feathers. Its appearance is transformed from their dull colors when they take to flight, when the white of the wings makes them very prominent. They are usually silent but may make a harsh croak in alarm when flushed or near their nests. They are very common in India, and are usually solitary foragers but numbers of them may sometimes feed in close proximity during the dry seasons when small wetlands have a high concentration of prey. They are semi-colonial breeders. They may also forage at garbage heaps. During dry seasons, they sometimes take to foraging on well watered lawns or even dry grassland. When foraging, they allow close approach and flush only at close range. They sometimes form communal roosts, often in avenue trees over busy urban areas.

Red-vented Bulbul R3070
Red-vented Bulbul

Red vented Bulbul Birds (Pycnonotus cafer) is a member of the bulbul family of passerines. It is resident breeder across the Indian subcontinent, including Sri Lanka extending east to Burma and parts of Tibet. It has been introduced in many other parts of the world and has established itself in the wild on several Pacific islands including Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Hawaii. It has also established itself in parts of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, the United States and Argentina. It is included in the list of the world’s 100 worst invasive alien species. The red-vented bulbul is easily identified by its short crest giving the head a squarish appearance. The body is dark brown with a scaly pattern while the head is darker or black. The rump is white while the vent is red. The black tail is tipped in white. The Himalayan races have a more prominent crest and are more streaked on the underside. The Race intermediates of the Western Himalayas has a black hood extending to the mid-breast. Population Bengals of Central and Eastern Himalayas and the Genetic plain has a dark hood, lacks the scale like pattern on the underside and instead has dark streaks on the paler lower belly.

Sunbird R3083
Purple Sunbird মৌটুসী

Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus) is a small sunbird. Like other sunbirds they feed mainly on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. They have a fast and direct flight and can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird but often perch at the base of flowers. The males appear all black except in some lighting when the purple iridescence becomes visible. Females are olive above and yellowish below. This small sunbird has a relatively short bill, a dark and short square ended tail with distinctive sexual dimorphism. Less than 10 cm long they have a down-curve bill with brush-tipped tubular tongues that aid in nectar feeding. The male is glossy metallic bluish to purplish black on the upper parts with the wings appearing dark brown. The breeding male has the underparts also of the same purplish black, but non-breeding males may show a central streak of black on yellow underparts. In the breeding plumage, the male can be confused with the syntopic Loten’s sunbird which has a long bill and distinctive broad maroon band on the breast. Breeding males will sometimes show their yellow pectoral tufts in displays. There is a patch of bright blue on the shoulder of breeding males. The maroon shine on the feathers of the collar around the neck is visible mainly during the breeding seasons. Females are olive brown above with yellowish underside. There is a pale supercilium beyond the eye. There is a darkish eye stripe. The throat and breast are yellow becoming pale towards the vent. The outer tail feathers are tipped in white both in the male and female. They are seen in pairs or small groups and aggregations may be found in gardens with suitable flowers. They feed mainly on nectar but also take fruits and insects.

Black-hooded Oriole R3086
Black-hooded Oriole ইষ্টি কুটুম বেনেবউ

Black-hooded Oriole (Oriolus xanthornus) is a member of the oriole family of passerine birds and is a resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to Indonesia. It is a bird of open woodland and cultivation. The nest is built in a tree, and contains two eggs. Its food is insects and fruit, especially figs, found in the tree canopies where they spend much of their time. The male is striking, with the typical oriole black and yellow coloration. The plumage is predominantly yellow, with a solid black hood, and black also in the wings and tail center. The female black-hooded oriole is a drabber bird with greenish underparts, but still has the black hood. Young birds are like the female, but have dark streaking on the underparts, and their hood is not solidly black, especially on the throat. The black head of this species is an obvious distinction from the Indian golden oriole, which is a summer visitor to northern India. Orioles can be shy, and even the male may be difficult to see in the dappled yellow and green leaves of the canopy. The black-hooded oriole’s flight is somewhat like a thrush, strong and direct with some shallow dips over longer distances. The black hooded oriole lives in common contact with humans in rural and urban India. A folk tale from Bengal has it that an unfortunate girl of a merchant family was tortured by her mother-in-law. Troubled by various incidents she smeared herself with turmeric paste and covered herself with a sooty earthen pot and killed herself. A goddess resurrected her as a black hooded oriole and a Bengali name for the bird is বেনেবউ or merchant’s wife while another name is ইষ্টি কুটুম or turmeric bird.

Red-wattled lapwing R2956
Red-wattled Lapwing

Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus) is a lapwing or large plover, a wader in the family Charadriidae. Like other lapwings they are ground birds that are incapable of perching. Their characteristic loud alarm calls are indicators of human or animal movements and the sounds have been variously rendered as did he do it or pity to do it leading to the colloquial name of did-he-do-it bird. Usually seen in pairs or small groups and usually not far from water they sometimes form large aggregations in the non-breeding season (winter). They nest in a ground scrape laying three to four camouflaged eggs. Adults near the nest fly around, diving at potential predators while calling noisily. The cryptically patterned chicks hatch and immediately follow their parents to feed, hiding by lying low on the ground or in the grass when threatened. Red-wattled lapwings are large waders. The wings and back are light brown with a purple to green sheen, but the head, a bib on the front and back of the neck are black. Prominently white patch runs between these two colors, from belly and tail, flanking the neck to the sides of crown. Short tail is tipped black. A red fleshy wattle in front of each eye, black-tipped red bill, and the long legs are yellow. In flight, prominent white wing bars formed by the white on the secondary coverts. It usually keeps in pairs or trios in well-watered open country, ploughed fields, grazing land, and margins and dry beds of tanks and puddles.

Asian Koel R6598
Asian Koel

Asian koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes. It is found in the Indian Subcontinent, China, 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. The Asian koel is a large, long-tailed. 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 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 the Indian Subcontinent), with a range of different calls. The Asian koel is a bird of light woodland and cultivation. It is a mainly resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to southern 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.

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