Eudynamis honorata, Lin.
214. :- Eudynamis orientalis, Lin. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 342; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 461; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 389; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 117; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 63.
THE INDIAN KOEL. THE BLACK CUCKOO.
Length, 15.5 ; expanse, 23; wing, 7.5; tail, 7.5 ; tarsus, 1.12; bill at front, 1.
Length, 17.5 ; wing, 8; tail, 8.
Bill pale greenish; inside of mouth reddish; irides crimson; legs slaty-blue.
Male, glossy greenish-black throughout.
Female, glossy dusky-green, spotted with white above ; wings and tail banded white; beneath white, with black spots, longitudinal on the throat and neck, somewhat heart-shaped or arrow-shaped on the breast, and transverse on the abdomen, thigh-coverts, and under tail-coverts.
The young female has the white spots and marks much tinged with rufous; and the young male has a good deal of white on his plumage.
The Indian Koel is very common throughout the district,, excepting Sind, where it appears to be somewhat rare. Some of them at least are permanent residents, but during the breeding season they are everywhere more common; at this season, too, they are excessively noisy, so much so as to become a positive nuisance. They lay their eggs in nests of the common crow, sometimes a single egg only, but as often as not two will be found, and I have on two occasions found three Koel eggs in a single nest. I much doubt whether the Koel destroys the crow eggs before depositing her own, as I have always found them intact; they may do so in other districts, but my experience is a wide one, extending through Guzerat, Raj pootana, Central India, Sind, and the Deccan.
The eggs vary surprisingly in color ; pale sea-green, dingy stone-color, and olive-green and brown, are all met with; the markings also are diversified ; specks, spots, streaks and clouds of olive and reddish-brown and dull purple are all represented The eggs measure about 119 inches in length by 0.92 in breadth. The bird has not inaptly been named the Brain Fever Bird by some waggish godfather.