Monday, August 6, 2012

Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus)


Identification

40-45cm
Male:
  • Bluish-black
  • Pale green bill
  • Red eyes
  • Grey legs and feet
Female:
  • Brownish upper parts with white spots
  • Whitish underparts heavily striped and spotted brown
  • Olive or green beak
  • Red eyes
Distribution

Found from southern Asia, China, Indochina and Indonesia to New Guinea.

Taxonomy

Formerly also "Common Koel".
Asian Koel with thirteen subspecies were split from Australian Koel and Black-billed Koel by some authorities, however, others still think that the best treatment is to consider all three as one species which would then be named Common Koel, Eudynamys scolopacea.
At least one authority goes the other way and want to split subspecies orientalis (and other subspecies) from the rest of Asian Koel: the new species if accepted would become Pacific Koel, Eudynamys orientalis and would include Australian Koel.

Subspecies


There are 13 subspecies:
  1. E. s. scolopaceus: Nepal to Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Laccadives and Maldives
  2. E. s. chinensis: Southern China and Indochina; winters to Borneo
  3. E. s. harterti: Hainan (southern China)
  4. E. s. malayanus (dolosa): North-eastern India to Thailand, Malaya, Sumatra, Borneo and Lesser Sundas
  5. E. s. simalurensis: Simeulue Island (off western Sumatra)
  6. E. s. frater: Northern Philippines (Calayan and Fuga)
  7. E. s. mindanensis: Philippines, Palawan, Sulu Archaepelago, Sangihe Island and Talaud Islands
  8. E. s. corvinus: Northern Moluccas (Morotai, Halmahera, Ternate, Tidore and Bacan)
  9. E. s. orientalis: Southern Moluccas (Buru, Manipa, Kelang, Seram, Ambon, Watubela)
  10. E. s. picatus: Kai Islands and Sumba to Timor and Roma
  11. E. s. rufiventer: New Guinea
  12. E. s. salvadorii: Bismarck Archipelago
  13. E. s. alberti: Solomon Islands
Habitat

Light woodland and on the fringes of urban areas, mangrove, scrub, plantations, orchards, gardens, parks, rare in forests.

Behaviour

Breeding
These birds are what you call brood-parasitic, meaning it lays its eggs in nest of Large-billed Crow, and House Crow.
Diet
Whilst the adults feed mainly on fruit, their diet also includes insects, caterpillars, eggs and small vertebrates.
Vocalization 
Call: This is most unique. It consists of a series of 'tuhoo's wherein the 'hoo' is slightly drawn out. The repetitions are very quick, one after the other.

In Culture

Since the bird is most active just before the onset of monsoon, Indians believe that its arrival heralds the oncoming rains.
In Sri Lanka, this bird has a strong association with the traditional new year celebrations of Sri Lanka. In the literature around the festival, the song of the bird is regarded as heralding new year. This bird is known as the koha in Sri Lanka by the Sinhala speaking community.

Gallery



Female Bird in Malabe, Colombo, Sri Lanka


Male Bird in Malabe, Colombo, Sri Lanka


Male Bird in Malabe, Colombo, Sri Lanka


Male Bird in Malabe, Colombo, Sri Lanka


Male Bird in Malabe, Colombo, Sri Lanka

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