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Greater coucal (Centropus sinensis) Complete detail – updated

Greater coucal (Centropus sinensis) Complete detail – updated. Description of  Greater coucal (Centropus sinensis). Classification of Greater coucal (Centropus sinensis). Greater coucal is reported throughout the India. Habit and habitat of Greater coucal.
Local name of Greater coucal (Centropus sinensis) is MahokThe head is black, upper mantle and underside are black glossed with purple. Generally found in Open forest, scrub country, bushes, grassland, shrubbery, groves and near human habitation. Wings are bright chestnut on upper wings, and black on under wings. Long graduated tail is glossy dark green. Contrast between chestnut and black is very conspicuous in adults………….
The Nesting season ranges between February and September, varying with local conditions. The nest is a large untidy globular mass of leaves and twigs, with a lateral entrance hole, placed in the center of a bush, or in the branch of a tree fairly low down. Greater Coucal’s nest is a large globular mass. It is strongly built, with grasses, leaves and twigs, and tied up to large stems, or hidden in a bush. It may be a deep cup with a dome. Nest………..
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Click here to view State wise list of Indian state birds (symbols) – updated

Distinctive Identification

Size of Greater coucal is between 45 cm to 50 cm including the tail. The Weight of adult is between 225 g. to 400 g. A clumsy, glossy black bird with conspicuous chestnut wings and long, broad black tail.

The head is black, upper mantle and underside are black glossed with purple. The back and wings are chestnut brown. There are no pale shaft streaks on the coverts. Adult has glossy black-purple head and body.

Wings are bright chestnut on upper wings, and black on under wings. Long graduated tail is glossy dark green. Contrast between chestnut and black is very conspicuous in adults. Strong, heavy bill is blackish. Eyes are deep red. Legs and feet are dark grey. They have long and straight hind claw.

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Classification 

Common Name – Greater coucal

Local Name – Mahok

Zoological Name – Centropus sinensis

Kingdom – Animalia

Phylum – Chordata

Class – Aves

Order – Cuculiformes

Family – Cuculidae

Genus – Centropus

Conservational Status – Schedule – IV, according to wildlife (Protection) act, 1972 and classified as Least Concern (LC) by the IUCN.

Distribution

Greater coucal is reported throughout the India. Greater Coucal is resident in southern Asia, from India east to south China and Indonesia. Greater coucal is found from the Indus Valley through the sub-Himalayan and Gangetic plains to Nepal, Assam and the Bhutan foothills into southern China.

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Habit and habitat

Generally found in Open forest, scrub country, bushes, grassland, shrubbery, groves and near human habitation. Greater Coucal is usually found singly or in pairs, walking along the ground in the undergrowth. They Walks on ground, hops among bushes, trees, searching for food. They are generally feeds on grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, field mice, lizards, snakes, large insects, snail, mice, bird’s eggs etc.

They are commonly found about cultivation and human habitations. They are met with singly or in pairs skulking its way through undergrowth in search of food, head lowered and tail almost trailing the ground, frequently opened and shut. In trees it hops from branch to branch witli agility, but it is essentially a ground loving species.  It feeds while walking in tall grasses and thickets. It walks slowly like a pheasant, withheld horizontal tail, or it skulks through dense undergrowth. This bird hunts on the ground, and may hop and run actively when pursuing prey. Sometimes, it picks up some vegetation and other food items.

The Nesting season ranges between February and September, varying with local conditions. The nest is a large untidy globular mass of leaves and twigs, with a lateral entrance hole, placed in the center of a bush, or in the branch of a tree fairly low down. Greater Coucal’s nest is a large globular mass. It is strongly built, with grasses, leaves and twigs, and tied up to large stems, or hidden in a bush. It may be a deep cup with a dome. Nest materials are loosely woven, and close leaves and stems are bent and woven directly to the structure, without cutting. So, nest remains always green, and perfectly concealed among vegetation. We can see a lateral entrance.

Click here to view State wise list of Indian state animals (symbols) – updated

Greater Coucal’s are monogamous and breed during rains, from February to September, but varying locally. It is resident in its range, and some populations are locally migratory. In the breeding season the cock goes through a fantastic display before his mate, ‘fanning’ and cocking his tail over the back and strutting in front of her with drooping wings. The eggs- three or four – are white, chalky, gloss-less and unmarked. Both sexes share; in building the nest, incubation and care of the young. It is highly destructive to the eggs and young of other birds.

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