Bird Watch - Juvenile Koel

Well, you've seen my post on Vanya - a white headed babbler's adventures. After a babbler, now its time for a Koel.
First things first, the very unique behavior of Koel - it doesn't build a nest. Its a blood parasite. It lays its eggs in the crow's nest.  Before it does, it pushes out a couple of crow's eggs from the nest, so the count remains the same when the crow comes back to its nest. Since its appearance its black, like that of a crow, when the eggs open up and the little koels come out, the crow thinks, they're its own and feeds the Koels!!! 
Infact, the young koels even have a sound similar to that of crow. Once the koel is considerably older, its original voice, comes out. Only then the crow realizes that the little one is not its own and pushes it out of the nest.
When born both male and female look similar like that of a crow. As the female grows, its voice changes, becomes brownish, develops spots all over it, and gets crimson colored eyes. As the male grows, its voice changes too, but becomes shiny, pitch black, and gets crimson colored eyes as well! The female koel is the first to get identified coz it starts developed spots all over it and becomes brownish in color, though its also black when born. The male koel doesn't get identified till its voice changes.

I spotted the female koel as soon as it was pushed out of its nest. The spots had just started to develop, so the crow has found about this. Its eye color has still hasn't changed to crimson. At this point, this little one did not even understand why its 'mom' that was loving, caring and feeding till previous day!!!
I tried to feed it some fruit of curry leaves plant - a delicacy for koels! But it didn't know how to eat by itself. It didn't know to fly properly as well! Sadly it tried to climb the neem tree once again, where its nest was located. It kept calling out for the 'mom'. But the crow and few more fellow crow friends of the mother, kept pushing it and attacking it! It was so much attacked that it got bruised near it eyes!!! All I could do was to scare away the crows, so atleast the koel is not killed!!!
In some time the young one realized that its 'mom' is no longer loving it and it had to fend for itself. It hid within the mango tree's branches and foliage and stopped calling for its 'mom'. Hoping that it'll learn to live by itself, I left it there!!!

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

19 comments:

  1. Hi Bhusha

    Thanks for the detailed information. Heart rending to see the young female pushed out and untended & helpless. May be that is the law of nature. Why don't you ask for help from the forest department. They may be able to take the fledgling female under their care & feed it.

    Happy Pongal to you & Family. Warm Regards & Best Wishes Ram

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    1. This is a common sight here Ram Sir! So many crows and so many koels! They learn eventually!!! :)

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  2. Nice read and wonderful shots.

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in/2013/01/colourful-melancholy.html

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  3. Poor little thing. Hope it survives. Thanks for this.

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  4. What an intriguing bird, but what a harsh start to life it has!

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  5. Amazing nature.. well documented!

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  6. Smart bird! Replacing the crow's eggs with it'own eggs but pity the eggs that are being pushed out of the nest.

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    1. Thanks for visiting Anney! Do visit often! :)
      So true, its how nature has decided on them!!!

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  7. Wow, makes me realise my kids had an easy start in life!

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    1. Ha ha! So true! Thanks for visiting dear. Do visit often! :)

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  8. This is very pretty! I adore your blogs, very talented :-) we can follow each other if you want so let me know oxox

    http://hind-toufga.blogspot.se/

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  9. Sent me into a thought. how is that the crows are been taken for a ride from ages. After having experienced rejection, why does not the koel builds its own nest when it grows up. Why don't you dig a little and get answers for this strange act of nature

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  10. I can see you have a liking for birds. :)
    Well documented post.

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  11. same story here, i left it with my mom, she ll take care of it until it can fend for itself...

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