Fun Asian Koel Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Interesting Asian koel facts for children and adults.

The Asian koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) is a type of large cuckoo bird found in the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and China. They are a brood parasite species, which means they lay their eggs in other birds' nests.

The Asian koel is about 15-18 in (38.1-45.7 cm) long and weighs about 6.7-11.6 oz (190-328.8 g). Males and females look different. The male Asian koel has a glossy bluish-black plumage and grey beak and legs.

The female Asian koel has a dark brown back rump and wing and has white spots all over it. They also have a whitish underbelly striped with dark brown.

Both males and females have crimson irises. The young koel has plumage similar to the males.

The Asian koel chick usually grows up with the birds from the host nest where its mother lays her eggs, especially the house crow. The male Asian koel song is identifiable from a distance.

They have a melodic 'koo-oo' call that can be heard during their mating time. Females make a different shrill sound. These birds are omnivorous, but the adults mostly feed on fruits.

Some of the populations of these birds are also partially migratory. Keep on reading to learn more about the Asian koel migration route and Asian koel vs. India cuckoo differences!

If you want to read more amazing bird articles, please check out these cuckoo facts and Kirtland's warbler facts.

Asian Koel Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Asian koel?

The Asian koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) is a type of Cuckoo bird. They are found in Southeastern Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. They are closely related to the black-billed koel and the Pacific koel, and they are said to form superspecies.

What class of animal does an Asian koel belong to?

Asian koels belong to the Aves class of the Animalia kingdom. They also belong to the Cuculidae family of birds that encompasses all cuckoo birds. The Asian koel scientific name can be either Eudynamys scolopaceus or Eudynamys scolopacea.

How many Asian koels are there in the world?

The number of Asian koels in the world is unknown. However, in the IUCN Red List, they have a Least Concern status; this means that their population is safe in the wild, and there are enough of these birds to make them a species very safe from extinction.

Their population trend is also stable, which means they do not have a declining population, like many other birds.

Where does an Asian koel live?

As their name suggests, the Asian koel is found in various parts of Asia. They are largely found in Southeastern Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Maldives, and Southern China are some of the countries where you can find these birds.

They are also found in the Greater Sunda Islands. Some populations of Asian koels travel long distances and can even be found in Australia.

These birds move around a lot and have great colonizing potential. For example, they only arrived in Singapore in 1980, but there is already a large population of these birds inhabiting the place. They can fit into a place very quickly.

What is an Asian koel's habitat?

The Asian koel is a shy bird and likes to hide in trees. They can be seen in a large array of habitats in their range.

They can be found in thick forest habitats, bamboo thickets as well as mangroves. They can also be seen in cultivation areas and light woodland areas. Areas with shrubs and tall trees, villages, and towns with tall trees are also some of the places they can be found in.

These birds are rarely visible to the human eye as they hide very well in trees. You can often hear this bird's call before seeing it.

Who do Asian koels live with?

Asian koels are a brood parasitic breed. This means they lay their eggs in other birds' nests. The young of the species usually grow up with fledglings of the host bird. Asian koels do not live in groups and are mostly seen solo.

How long does an Asian koel live?

The average lifespan of Asian koels is about 12-15 years. In contrast, the black-billed cuckoo and the yellow-billed cuckoo live only for four to five years.

How do they reproduce?

The reproduction process, specifically the egg-laying process of these birds, is very interesting. The mating season varies from place to place, but in India and surrounding countries, it can last from March to October.

It is a mainly resident breeder of the Indian Subcontinent. Both males and females become very vocal during the mating season, but especially males.

They are the ones with a melodic voice, and they are very loud. In their mating season, you might be able to hear males calling out with a Koo-oo sound.

Females have a more shrill and less musical call. The Asian koel is a brood parasite, meaning they do not make their own nest and lay their eggs in some other birds' nests, mostly in the nests of House Crows.

After mating, the pair tries to find a suitable nest to lay their eggs in. They can target the nests of a lot of birds, namely the house crow, the jungle crow, the black drongo, the common mynah, and many others.

In Sri Lanka, these birds used to mostly target jungle crow nests before 1880; then, they shifted to house crows.

They prefer nests that are in fruit trees or are near fruit trees. Males distract the hosts while the females remove a host egg and lay their one or two eggs in the host's nest.

They never target an empty nest, and they always lay their eggs one or two days after the host lays their first egg. The young koel also hatches out of the egg faster than the host's chicks.

The mother koel may visit the chicks and feed them, but males do not take part in this. The Asian koel intelligence is very high.

The chicks are fed by the host birds until they learn to fly. They are omnivorous but become mostly frugivorous when they mature.

What is their conservation status?

The Asian koel is listed as a Least Concern species in the IUCN Red List. They also have a stable population which is amazing.

Asian Koel Fun Facts

What do Asian koels look like?

The male Asian koel and the female Asian koel look vastly different from each other. They have roughly the same body length of about 15-18 in (38.1-45.7 cm).

The male Asian koel color of plumage is a glossy bluish-black. They have a paler grey bill and grey legs. The female Asian koel plumage is dark brown with white and buff specs scattered across.

The crown is brownish and has rufous streaks in it. Their underbellies are more white, but they are striped with darker brown. Both males and females of the species have crimson irises.

The baby Asian koel wings and back are similar to the males, but they have a black beak. The specific singing 'koo-oo' sound that is familiarized with the bird comes from the males while the females have a more shrill call.

The Asian Koel

How cute are they?

The Asian koel cannot be called a cute bird per se. They are beautiful-looking birds that have amazing vocal capabilities. But the fact remains that they mostly stay hidden. And they are pretty big birds that may look similar to crows from a distance. They are very beautiful birds.

How do they communicate?

The Asian because koel has a very distinct call that is one of the identification factors of these birds. Especially because these shy birds are heard more often than they are seen. Males are very vocal during the mating season. Their mating season is from March to October.

They have a loud and melodic Koo-oo call that they use. But there are some other different calls they use as well. The female Asian koel call is a shrill 'kik-kik' sound. Males can call for a long time.

How big is an Asian koel?

The average length of an adult Asian koel is about 15-18 in (38.1-45.7 cm). They are a pretty large species of cuckoos. They measure larger than most other cuckoo birds. They are larger than the average Indian cuckoo and the black cuckoo.

How fast can an Asian koel fly?

The exact speed of the Asian koel is unknown. However, these birds are a type of brood parasite, and they have to fly pretty fast to lay their eggs in the host nest before the host bird comes back.

Not only that, but some of their populations are also migratory and fly a great distance. They are very good fliers.

How much does an Asian koel weigh?

The average weight of adult Asian koels is about 6.7-11.6 oz (190-328.8 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the male and female Asian koels. They are simply called the male Asian koel and the female Asian koel.

What would you call a baby Asian koel?

There are no specific names for the baby Asian koels. However, like all other baby birds, they can be called nestlings or fledglings.

What do they eat?

The Asian koel is an omnivorous bird. The adults are mostly known to feed on various types of fruits. The young, however, also feed on various insects, small eggs, caterpillars, and small vertebrates.

Are they clever?

Yes, the Asian koel is a very clever species of bird. These brood parasites work very smartly to lay their eggs in a different bird's nest.

The male usually keeps watch or distracts the host birds while the female removes an egg from the host bird's nest and lays her egg in the nest. The female also sometimes goes to feed her young in the host bird's nest. They fool a lot of birds in order to survive, which makes them a very intelligent species.

Would they make a good pet?

The Asian koel is a wild bird and should not be kept as a pet. Sometimes they might become fond of humans, but since these birds are very shy, that is extremely unlikely.

Did you know...

The Asian koel bird is closely related to the Black-billed koel and the Pacific koel. These three together form superspecies.

Some populations of these birds are migratory. The resident birds of the Indian Subcontinent sometimes move southwards and winter there. Sometimes they even go to Australia.

Why does the Asian koel only sing in the new year?

The Asian koel, especially males, sing very often during their mating season. The mating season in the Indian Subcontinent starts from March and may last until October.

But they mostly sing in March and April, which is the time the Indian New Year is celebrated (14th -15th April). That is why it seems that they only sing during the new year or in spring.

How to get rid of Asian koels?

Since they try to hide from the human eyes, it is very hard to get rid of an Asian koel even if you hear them. But if you do see them, gesturing at them or making some noise will drive them away.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these koklass pheasant and marabou stork pages

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Asian Koel bird coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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