Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus)

Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus)

The Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) is a member of the cuckoo family (Cuculidae) native to South Asia, Southeast Asia, and parts of East Asia. This bird species is widely distributed across India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. They inhabit a variety of habitats, such as forests, woodlands, and cultivated areas, and have adapted well to urban environments, including parks and gardens.

Physical Characteristics:

The Asian Koel is a medium-sized bird, with a length of around 39-46 centimeters (15-18 inches). The species exhibits sexual dimorphism, with males and females displaying distinct coloration. Males have glossy blue-black or greenish-black plumage, while females have dark brown upperparts with white spots and streaks, and buff-colored underparts with dark horizontal bars. Both sexes have a long, graduated tail and a stout, slightly curved bill. Their eyes are red, which is a distinguishing feature of the species.


Asian Koels are mainly frugivorous, feeding on a variety of fruits, such as figs, berries, and drupes. They play an essential role in seed dispersal within their ecosystems. In addition to fruits, they also consume insects, caterpillars, and small vertebrates, such as lizards and small birds.

Reproduction and Lifecycle:

The Asian Koel is a brood parasite, meaning it does not build its own nest or care for its young. Instead, it lays its eggs in the nests of other bird species, such as crows, drongos, or babblers. The female Koel is known for her stealth and cunning behavior as she approaches the host nest, often removing or destroying one or more eggs of the host bird before laying her own.

The incubation period of the Asian Koel egg is around 12-15 days. Once the chick hatches, it instinctively pushes the other eggs or hatchlings out of the nest, ensuring it receives the full attention and resources of its foster parents. The chick fledges in approximately 20-25 days, but it may continue to be fed by its foster parents for several weeks after leaving the nest.

Conservation Status:

The Asian Koel is currently listed as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as it has a large range and stable population. While the species is not currently facing any major threats, it may be susceptible to habitat loss due to deforestation and urbanization in some parts of its range.

Updated: 20 April 2023 — 14:07

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