|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Greater Coucal clicked just outside Ranthambhore National Park, after a morning safari we were walking around and found this bird sitting in a perfact position on boundry made out of sticks and bushes. |
The Greater Coucal or Crow Pheasant (Centropus sinensis) is a large non-parasitic member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes. A widespread resident in Asia, from India, east to south China and Indonesia, it is divided into several subspecies, some being treated as full species. They are large, crow-like with a long tail and coppery brown wings and found in wide range of habitats from jungle to cultivation and urban gardens. They are weak fliers, and are often seen clambering about in vegetation or walking on the ground as they forage for insects, eggs and nestlings of other birds. They have a familiar deep resonant call which is associated with omens in many parts of its range.
This is a large species of cuckoo at 48 cm. The head is black, upper mantle and underside are black glossed with purple. The back and wings are chestnut brown. There are no pale shaft streaks on the coverts. The eyes are ruby red. Juveniles are duller black with spots on the crown and there are whitish bars on the underside and tail. There are several geographic races and some of these populations are sometimes treated as full species. Earlier treatments included the Brown Coucal (C. (s.) andamanensis) under this name. Rasmussen & Anderton (2005) suggest that the race parroti may be a full species - the Southern Coucal which is fround in peninsular India (northern boundary unclear). The race intermedius of the Assam and Bangladesh region is smaller than the nominate race found in the sub-Himalayan zone. Songs of the races are said to vary considerably. Race parroti of southern India has a black head and the underparts glossed blue and has the forehead, face and throat more brownish. The sexes are similar in plumage but females are slightly larger.
The bird is associated with many superstitions and beliefs. The deep calls are associated with spirits and omens.
In British India, it was noted that new-recruits to India often mistook it for a pheasant and shot it to find it "evil flavoured" giving it the nickname of "Griff's pheasant".
Local names include Mahoka in Hindi; Punjabi: Kamadi kukkar; Bengali: Kubo Assamese: Kukoo sorai, Kukuha sorai, Dabahi kukuha; Cachar: Dao di dai; Manipuri: Nongkoubi; Gujarati: Hokko, Ghoyaro, Ghumkiyo; Kutch: Hooka; Marathi: Bharadwaj, Kumbhar kaola, Kukkudkumbha, Sonkawla; Oriya: Dahuka; Tamil: Kalli kaka, Chembakam; Telugu: Jemudu kaki, Chemara, Mahoka kaki, Samba kaki; Malayalam: Uppan, Chemboth; Kannada: Kembootha; and Sinhalese: Atti kukkula, Bu kukkula.
The flesh was once eaten as a folk cure for tuberculosis and pulmonary ailments. In parts of western and southern India, it is believed that the nest include a special life-giving "grass" that can be found by throwing the nest material into a stream, where the supposedly magical material would separate and flow against the current.
info taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Coucal
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.