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Lesser Coucal

Lesser Coucal
Photo Information
Copyright: Ruby Sarkar (rubyfantacy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 84 W: 1 N: 417] (2627)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-01-12
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon PowerShot SX 40 HS
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-01-17 5:29
Viewed: 2210
Points: 4
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Lesser Coucal (Centropus Bengalensis) is a type of Cuckoo and is from the 'Cuculidae' family. it is found in the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia.

Lesser Coucals feed on large insects, frogs, lizards, snakes. they hunt these among the undergrowth, using their powerful bills to catch and kill their prey.

Coucals are rather terrestrial, preferring to walk than fly. they emerge in the open only in the early morning. the rest of the day, they forage on foot in tall grass. when disturbed, they make a short flight with shallow wing beats and brief glides into cover. they then scuttle away on foot. they are strong runners and have straight hind claws and are sometimes called "lark-heeled cuckoos".

Lesser Coucals are mostly solitary, only rarely seen in pairs. they specialise in more open grasslands (lallang and other tall grasses) both dry and marshy, while the Greater Coucals (C. sinensis) are found in thickets.

Lesser Coucals have a courtship ritual of offering each other titbits like a leaf or grasshopper.

although they are members of the cuckoo family, Lesser Coucals do not lay their eggs in other birds' nests. they build their own nests. these are usually well concealed and comprise a large globe (18 x 25cm) made of twigs or grass (blades and stems) with a large entrance hole to one side. the nest is sometimes lined with green leaves and grass.

they build in open grasslands, close to the ground, incorporating tall grass stems into the nest. less frequently, low in bushes or trees.

2-3 white eggs are laid in December-July. hatchlings are black skinned with long bristly down. like other Coucals, when disturbed, the chicks squirt out copious amounts of foul-smelling liquid faeces.

the Coucals have the head and bill of a crow, but long tail feathers of a pheasant. in fact, in the past, they were known as crow-pheasants.

detailed information courtesy:

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To cuckooroller: thanks Steverubyfantacy 3 01-22 07:04
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Hi Ruby,
This is Centropus sinensis sinensis (Greater Coucal). You can distinguish it from the Lesser Coucal (which also ranges) by its being a larger bird, by its not having the "buff-shaft streaks" on the mantle, wing-coverts, and on the nape, that is typical of the Lesser Coucal, by the bill of the Lesser Coucal being much shorter, sort of "pug-nosed" respect to that of the Greater Coucal, by the Greater Coucal having the mantle and wings much more rufous, and by the Greater Coucal having red eyes (those of the Lesser Coucal are brown).

Hello Ruby
Interesting bird in its habitat and nice photo with wonderful colours and good sharpness.

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