Birds of Morni: Greater Coucal

January 20, 2013

Greater Coucal/Crow Pheasant/ Mahoka/ Bharadwaj/Kamadi kukkar/Ratna pakshi (Centropus sinensis) a large crow-like cuckoo, about a foot-and-a-half in length with a black-head and underside, glossed with purple, coppery brown wings and a long black tail. A weak-flier, it spends most of its time on the ground and can be spotted in vegetation foraging for insects and small vertebrates. The long, straight hind claw resembles a dagger. The eyes are ruby red. An atypical cuckoo, it builds its own nest (a large untidy mass of twigs and leaves). The male builds the nest in dense vegetation often 10-15 feet above the ground in bamboo thickets etc. Has a deep, resonant call. Sunbathes in early morning and remains hidden in vegetation for the rest of the day. Its flesh was believed to cure tuberculosis and other lung ailments. The grass used by it for buildingits nest was believed to have magical curative powers!!  Its generally considered lucky to spot a ‘bhardwaj’.

Greater Coucal

Note:

The awesome YouTube video that has been shared here has not been shot by the author.

Filed in: Birds

About the Author ()

An environmental enthusiast who loves tramping through the hills in search of the picturesque.

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