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Greater Coucal

Centropus sinensis

Description:

Large bird. Clumsy flier. Red eyes like rubies. Rust coloured wings. Black feathers on tail and head.

Habitat:

This bird hides in vegetation. The house but one next to mine is in ruins because no one has stayed here for over 30 years...it is overgrown with vegetation and a place for mongoose, snakes and shy birds. The Crow pheasant or Coucal flies up to my rooftop terrace and drinks water that I put out or picks up what little fruit is left after the civet cat's visit at night. I sometimes see the pair walking along my boundary wall into my neighbour's garden. Today it was at my neighbour's house when I spotted it. It was checking out her potted plants for insects and earthworms I thought. The moment it saw me...it flew straight over my head to hide in the leaves of the Polyalthia longifolia that dad had planted just touching our boundary wall..the tree is about as tall as the rooftop terrace...so from there to our terrace is just a hop and a skip (no jump). It is such a poor flier (heavy body) that I could have grasped its legs if I had done a standing jump as it flew over my head...but I was so thrilled...I sort of froze...transfixed, I suppose.

Notes:

Has a deep resonant call. It goes Koob...Koob...Koob. So in Bengal we call it Koobo pakhi (pakhi is a generic term for bird) It is a good hunter too : https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/52...

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6 Comments

SukanyaDatta
SukanyaDatta a month ago

Ha, ha Doc, Good one....it is indeed a terror for lizards and toads who never see it coming. For such a shy bird it is a really good hunter. I have seen it catch prey quite a few times when I used to go for morning walks. Hope you are keeping well, Doc..got your vaccine I hope.

DrNamgyalTSherpa
DrNamgyalTSherpa a month ago

Wow Sukanya, that must be a real terror!

SukanyaDatta
SukanyaDatta a month ago

Thank you Mel.

Mel11
Mel11 a month ago

Lovely series and great notes. Thanks for sharing Sukanya

SukanyaDatta
SukanyaDatta a month ago

Thanks, Zlatan. This is a shy bird so I was lucky to have seen it.

Zlatan Celebic
Zlatan Celebic a month ago

Gosh - I love these guys. Great shot and spotting, Sukanya.

SukanyaDatta
Spotted by
SukanyaDatta

Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Spotted on Feb 22, 2021
Submitted on Feb 22, 2021

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