Saturday, July 4, 2015

Asian Koyel (কোকিল) - Eudynamys scolopaceus

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Bengali Name : Kokil (কোকিল), (এশীয় কোকিল).
Common Name : Asian Koyel.
Binomial/Scientific Name : Eudynamys scolopaceus
Synonym : Cuculus scolopaceus
Family : Cuculidae

গানের পাখি হিসাবে বাংলাদেশে এই কোকিলের অনেক সুনাম। বসন্তের শুরুতেই এদের উচ্চ স্বরে ডাকাডাকি শুরু হয়ে যায়। সুরেলা এই ডাকের সাথেই বোঝা যায় প্রকৃতিতে বসন্তের আবির্ভাব ঘটতে যাচ্ছে। যার কারণে এই পাখিকে বলা হয় বসন্তের প্রতীক। পুরুষ এবং স্ত্রী কোকিল দেখতে আলাদা রকমের হয়। অনেকে আবার ভুল করে এদেরকে আলাদা আলাদা পাখি বলেও মনে করে। আমরা যে সুরেলা কুউ-কুউ ডাক বসন্তে শুনি সেইটা কিন্তু ডাকে পুরুষ কোকিল। স্ত্রী কোকিল খুব অল্প স্বরে ডাকে (বা ডাকেইনা বলা চলে)। কোকিল একটি পরজীবী পাখি, অন্যের বাসায় ডিম পাড়ে।

Asian Koyel is a native bird from Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ) and it does have a wide range including South Asia and Southeast Asian region. It belongs to the family Cuculidae and the binomial name of the bird is Eudynamys scolopaceus. In our country Bangladesh we call this bird as Kokil (কোকিল).

Notice the crimson/red eye of the male bird.

There are very few birds in this word where the male and the female are having a completely different outlook. This Asian Koyel (কোকিল) is one such bird from the very few. The male bird is having a black but shiny color (or can say glossy blue). It is a large sized bird having a long tail. The color of the bill is greyish and slightly hooked. The color of the eye is crimson/red and having a black pupil. The color of the feet and legs are also grey of this male bird.

Asian Koyel female (স্ত্রী কোকিল).

The female Asian Koyel (স্ত্রী কোকিল) is having a different outlook. The upper parts (head, back, wings, upper tail) are having black with heavily dotted (or streaked) with white. The undersides of the bird (breast, belly, under tail) is having white with streaked with black. The beak, legs, and feet are similar to the male bird.

Asian Koyel female (স্ত্রী কোকিল).

In Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ) the male Asian Koyel (পুরুষ কোকিল) is known as the harbinger of the Spring. The call of this male bird if very loud and sweet sounding. They are mostly vocal during the breeding season which is February to August here in Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ). The call is like Ku-oo Ku-oo. In Bangladesh this bird is known as a singing bird and we have lot of poems and songs in Bengali (বাংলা) literature.

They mostly prefer to live inside the dense leafed trees and very shy to come in open space. But with their loud call they are easy to locate. They mainly prefer to live around the light forest or woodland. That's why they are frequently found around our villages as we have more or less trees around our houses.

Asian Koyel (কোকিল) is mainly a frugivorous (means feed on fruits). The mostly found foraging around the ripe fruits on the trees (i.e. papaya, banyan, banana, etc). I have see female bird trying to sneak a bite from the ripe papaya on a tree. Also I have seen another female to look for the fruits from the Polyalthia longifolia tree as well. But this bird takes insects, caterpillars as a meal too.

This is a brood parasite bird, means lay eggs on other bird's nest. Crows are mostly known as their host for this purpose. But they also choose the Common myna, Long tailed starling, etc birds as a host. A female mainly lays one or two eggs on a single host's nest at a time (means using multiple hosts). The males are found to distract the host while the female laying the egg.

Female lays eggs within a day or two after the host lays their eggs. And her eggs hatched 2-3 days earlier than that host's eggs. In that way the juveniles get the initial meals from the host parents and after gaining strength it competes with the siblings for food and make them starving. If it is found that the chicks are not getting foods from the host parents, then the female uses to feed her babies when the host parents are not around.

A female Asian Koyel (স্ত্রী কোকিল) hiding inside the bush.

A male Asian koyel (কোকিল) with a Banyan fruit.

Photos of this article were taken from Bangladesh as mentioned below:
1) 16 December 2014: Keraniganj, Dhaka (কেরানীগঞ্জ, ঢাকা).
2) 21 December 2014: Kukri-mukri, Bhola (কুকরি-মুকরি, ভোলা).
3) 06 March 2015: Boranical Garden, Dhaka (বোটানিক্যাল গার্ডেন, ঢাকা).

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

শেষ বিকেলের পাখী, আমি যাযাবর...

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