Custom Search

Indian Koel

by Lakshmi Menon
(Bangalore)

Indian cuckoo-koel

Indian cuckoo-koel

Little Swetha was playing alone in the backyard of her house. She was feeling lonely and waited for her friends from the neighbor houses to come and play with her. Suddenly she heard a beautiful song of a bird from the top of her house. She looked up and spotted a black bird there. Though it was black looking something like a crow, he sang beautifully and Swetha was very happy. She forgot about her loneliness in the company of the bird.


As there was no sound from Swetha, her mother got worried and left her job in the kitchen and came to the backyard to find out about her daughter. Amazingly, she found Swetha in a very happy mood engrossed in the cuckoo’s song.

But when the bird saw her mother he flew away.

“O mama! What a nice bird? Such a beautiful song? What is the name of this bird, mama?” Swetha wanted to know more about the bird, which made her happy all this time.

“This bird is called Cuckoo or Koel. Cuckoo is a small bird seen all over India. They are also found in many Bird Sanctuaries in India. Cuckoos are also seen in Australia. A cuckoo has a length of 39-46 cms," said her mother, sitting next to her daughter.

By then Swetha’s friends – Reema and Sujith - came and joined them.

“Mummy, tell me more about cuckoo,” demanded Swetha.

“Okay. I’ll tell you everything about this bird.
I know what all questions you will have, and I will answer them one by one. Listen carefully.”

“Aunty, what is the zoological name of a cuckoo?” asked Sujith who was a 5th standard student.

"The zoological name of cuckoo is Eudynamys scolopacea."

“Aunty, how do they look in appearance?” That was Reema’s question.

"A cuckoo has a long tail, pointed wings and curved bills. A cuckoo’s tail is dark gray and slightly white in colour. The crown is dark brown and the bill is pale green in colour."

"How do we differentiate them whether they are males or females? Asked Sujith."

"A male cuckoo is glistening black, with yellowish green bill and crimson eyes. They have short wings but long tail".

Female cuckoos are slightly smaller than the males. A female cuckoo has green beak and red eyes. The female is dark brown, with profusely spotted and barred with white. They have green beak and red eyes," said Swetha's mother.

“Mummy, what do they eat? Who gives them food?”

"Cuckoos are carnivorous. You may wonder what is carnivorous? It means they eat flesh"

"They eat fruits, insects,caterpillars, grasshoppers, lizards, small snakes and mammals."

The children looked at each other in surprise.

"Where do they live? Do they have houses like us?" asked Swetha.

Her mother smiled. "They live on the canopy of the trees, where they make their nests."

"How do they get brothers and sisters?" Reema wanted to know.

"A mother cuckoo lays egg in the nest of the other bird. Once the egg is hatched the chick forces the other eggs and hatchings out of the nest. The babies have dark eyes. When the chick leaves the nest it roosts in the outer branches of a tree."

"A mother koel lays her eggs in the nest of a crow. After laying the eggs, the female koel flies away to the dense forests as it likes to live on big trees full of leaves to hide it. Their eggs are hatched by the crow." She added.

"Very interesting! Aunty, when is their breeding season?" asked Sujith.

"The breeding season of Cuckoos is September to March," replied Swetha's mother.

"Do they always sing like this?" asked Swetha.

"No. They usually sing in spring season because it is their mating season. The males sing such beautiful song to attract the female ones."


"How sad we missed watching the cuckoo singing!" Reema was disappointed.

"Don't worry, Reema. I have a video of a cuckoo singing. Watch this video. All of you come inside and I will switch the computer on," said Swetha's mother.

The children rushed inside enthusiastically to watch the video.


Comments for Indian Koel

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 19, 2017
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
could it be the same one?
by: David

We have a Koel who comes to our mulberry tree in south east Queensland, Australia every October. He is in the tree now calling out to a mate. Last year both a male and a female came together but this year he is alone. We sometimes call them Storm Birds, because when we hear their call we know that the first storms of summer are not far away. I wonder if he is related to your bird in India.

Sep 06, 2013
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Thank you
by: Lakshmi

Thank you Rakesh for reading the story about Indian Koel, and leaving an encouraging comment.
I'm glad you found it interesting and informative for the children. It gives me encouragement to write more such stories.

Sep 06, 2013
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Thanks a lot!
by: Rakesh Saxena

Thanks Lakshmi Its really very informative to kids.
In such interesting way you have provided entire information on indian koel.

Jul 22, 2013
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
great!!!:)
by: athulya katrina

it did not help me much but was interesting to hear and read!!!!:)

Mar 25, 2013
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Thanks
by: Lakshmi

Thanks Anonymous. I'm glad you liked this children's story. It is great to know that you possess one and you must be having real fun with it:)

I wish you had left your name at least at the end.



Mar 25, 2013
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
VeRy gReAt ThAnKs To LaKsHmI
by: Anonymous

very great thanks to lakshmi!
i have one, which i got from market!
i wanted to knw about it!
thanks to u!!!!! :-)

Feb 03, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Thanks Sheila
by: Lakshmi

Thanks Sheila for your visit and comment. It is really encouraging.

Feb 02, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Great story!
by: Sheila Newton

A really cool way of giving out information - in a children's story. I love the concept.

Oct 02, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Thanks Eva
by: Lakshmi

Thank you Eva for your encouraging comments. I wanted the children to learn more about these birds in an interesting way.

Oct 01, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstar
Indian Koel.
by: Eva Bell

Your story has brought out everything there is to know about the koel. Informative for kids.
When I was young, hearing the cuckoo's yodel everyday was a common thing.We were told that it said 'Jokul papa....Jokul papa' meaning 'innocent children, innocent children.'
The world is so noisy today that we seldom pay attention to bird song.

Sep 28, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Thanks Padmaja
by: Lakshmi

Thank you Padmaja. When I saw a koel in the early morning I remembered to write this story for the kids, to let them know about the birds.

Sep 28, 2010
Rating
starstarstar
koel
by: padmaja

that is informative to kids. in bangalore u see so many cuckoos.

Sep 27, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Thanks Vimala
by: Lakshmi

You're right, Vimala. It is really difficult to spot them. But you can spot them rarely.

Sep 27, 2010
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
koel
by: vimala ramu

Though we hear the singing of a koel clearly and loudly, it is very rare indeed to spot them in the tree.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Stories for Children.