Crow Pheasant (Centropus Sinensis)
Called Mahoka in Hindi,
Crow Pheasant or Coucal stands at the height of 48 cms. Its a
clumsy, glossy black bird with conspicuous wings and long, broad,
black, graduated tail. One can easily identify it by its deep,
resonant coop-coop-coop in the series of six, seven or even twenty.
Sometimes two birds synchronize their call and the entire jungle
lightens up with their orchestrated performance. When (probably) not
in mood the bird also utters a variety of harsh croaks and
gurgling chuckles. It affects open forests, grassland interspersed
with shrubs where its possible for it to stalk and hide. It can also
be seen in villages. It loves to eat caterpillars, large insects,
snails, lizards, young mice and eggs of birds. Both the sexes are
alike and can be seen singly or in pairs.
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The bird is found all over the Indian Union, Bangladesh, Pakistan,
Sri Lanka and Myanmar. In the Himalayas it can be found upto the
height of 2000 meters. Nesting season is from February to September
and may vary locally. Its nest is an untidy collection of twigs and
branches where three or four glossless eggs are laid.