Asian Koel


(Hindi name- Koyal)

It is believed about Asian koel is that the one who is black and sings is the female koel. While actually one who sings and is black is male koel. Assuming the singer as female, in Marathi if a lady has beautiful voice then she is called as ‘Gankokila’. (This name is been awarded to ace singer Lata Mangeshkar).

In this article we will explore where to spot this bird, and learn more about its habits and habitat.

Habitat: Best places to spot Asian koel

The Asian koel is found in light woodland and cultivation.

Food Habits

It is omnivorous. It feeds on insects, caterpillars, eggs and small vertebrates. Adult Asian koel mainly feeds on fruit.


Plumage: How does this bird looks?

The Asian koel is a large, long-tailed cuckoo. It measures about 39-46 cms and weights around 190-327 gms.
The male is glossy bluish-black and has a pale greenish-grey bill. The iris is rich deep red coloured with grey legs and feet.

The female has brownish crown and rufous streaked head. The back, rump and wing coverts are dark brown with white and buff spots. The under parts are whitish, but heavily striped. Young bird has upper plumage as that of male with black beak.


Asian koel is a brood parasite that lays its eggs in the nests of crows and other hosts, who raises its young. It lays single egg in the nest of a variety of birds.

Male distracts the host so that the female gets a chance to lay an egg in the nest. Eggs hatch in 12-14 days. The young fledge in 20-28 days.


The koel male makes familiar koo-ooo song, while the female makes high pitched kik-kik-kik call.


It has been chosen as the state bird by the Indian union territory of Pondicherry.

This bird was once very popular in India as cage bird.


  • Kingdom – Animalia
  • Phylum – Chordata
  • Class – Aves
  • Order – Caculiformes
  • Family – Cuculidae
  • Genus – Eudynamys
  • Species – E. scoloopaceus
  • Binomial name – Eudynamys scoloopaceus

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