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Asian Koel - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Western Koel)
Subspecies E. s. chinensis male
Photo © by anonymous_guy
Lamma Island, Hong Kong

Alternative name: Western Koel

Eudynamys scolopaceus

Identification

39–46 cm (15¼-18 in)
Male:

  • Bluish-black
  • Pale green bill
  • Red eyes
  • Grey legs and feet

Female:

  • Brownish upperparts with white spots
  • Whitish underparts heavily striped and spotted brown
  • Olive or green beak
  • Red eyes

Distribution

Nominate subspecies male
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Delhi, India, June-2012

Found from southern Asia, China, Indochina to the northern Moluccas (Indonesia).

Taxonomy

Formerly considered conspecific with Black-billed Koel and Pacific Koel.

Subspecies

There are 5 subspecies[1]:

  • E. s. scolopaceus:
  • E. s. chinensis:
  • E. s. harterti:
  • E. s. malayanus (dolosa):
  • E. s. mindanensis:
  • Philippines, Palawan, Sulu Archaepelago, Sangihe Island and Talaud Islands and northern Moluccas (Morotai, Halmahera, Ternate, Tidore and Bacan)

Habitat

Subspecies E. s. malayanus female
Photo © by 996sps
Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia, February 2007

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

Behaviour

Breeding

These birds are brood parasites, laying their eggs in nests of Large-billed Crow, House Crow and Black-collared Starling.

Diet

Whilst the adults feed mainly on fruit, such as figs, papaya and berries, their diet also includes insects, caterpillars, eggs and small vertebrates.

Vocalisation

Nominate subspecies juvenile
Photo © by bankim
Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, July 2005

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.

Listen in an external program

Recording by Alok Tewari
Delhi, India, April-2012

Call given by a male, recorded in the neighborhood garden.

Listen in an external program

Recording by Alok Tewari
Recorded in an urban garden, Delhi, India, May-2018
High pitch burst by a female followed by crescendo of male, and female again in the end.

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, they have a strong association with the traditional new year celebrations. In the literature around the festival, the song of the bird is regarded as heralding new year. They are called "koha" by the Sinhala speaking community.

Gallery

Click images to see larger version

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Birdforum Member observations
  3. Payne, R. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Western Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/54832 on 9 April 2020)

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