Another bird which not only is common in the Asian subcontinent as a bird but also as inspiration of infinite poems and stories. Yes.. It’s Koel or Koyal or Kokila commonly known as Asian Koel. Poets have described its squeak as source of their inspiration. Kids in India are taught that Koel sings in monsoon season. It is true but, only for few weeks in monsoon. In rest of the year I don’t think its squeak can actually be called singing! Also, I will explain later why Koels are laziest among birds.
Indian poets have often written that Koyaliya (female Koel) sings but, biologically it’s wrong. It’s a myth. The male Koel sings (if you say so) or makes such noises not the female koel. Some people still find it difficult to digest 🙂 Such is the power of pop-culture!
Common people often confuse male Koels with crows and female koels with kites. Of course the differences are enormous. But, I can understand the reasons of their confusion. Male Koels have dark black-blue color, almost like crows but, are smaller and slenderer. Red eyes and pale grayish thick beak. The female koel however looks very different than the male. She is brown in color with whitish spots all over the body. The brown color confuses people. But, whenever you see a kite like bird smaller in size and slenderer with fairly straight beak. It’s a female Asian Koel. The red eyes and pale beaks are common among male and female.
The Asian Koels are frugivorous which means their main food are fruits. Also, I think Koels are the laziest birds among Indian birds. In spite of their high reputation in literature Koels hardly do any hard labor like other birds. Because, they don’t do the basic work.. they don’t raise their own children! Yes.. Koels lay their eggs in Crows’ nests and let the crows raise their children. I often wonder what do female Koels do in their spare time. Anyways.. So next time you see any bird that resembles crow but is smaller and slenderer give it a closer look.
How To Identify Asian Koel