Monday, August 20, 2012

WHEN WHERE AND WHY ASIAN KOEL MALE SINGS



Every year Month of March arrives with fresh fragrance of Vasant Rutu flowers and in one crisp evening around 15 to 17 of March I do hear first cooing of koel male around 5.30 to 6.00 pm. And all of a sudden we say spring “Vasant Rutu has arrived. We regard koel sings to announce springs arrival. Is it correct or this is myth.
It is reality as well as myth in some cases. Generally spring arrives in March, however country like India the spring can’t be lock in months. Generally speaking Vasant Rutu arrives in March. It is not necessary koel to sing to announce it’s arrival.
Koel and his song is related with breeding activity of House crow (Corvvus splendens).
Region like kerala where monsoon arrives first almost two to three week ahead of Deccan plateau, where house crow intend to finish it’s nest before gusty wind and heavy showers. So House crow start breeding activity by Jan end and one can hearing koerl male sings. Then in western ghat or Konkan region one can see nesting activity of crow in march or earlier so here koel start it’s song in Feb. Whereas Mansoon  arrives in late June on Deccan Plateau here crow start pairing activity in March April. Nest are build in April end or in May. Once the good showers receives egg laying is done,
Same activity starts in Jun July in the plains of North India where one can hear Koel start singing in this period.
In western ghat every year I do hear Koel male singing in the month of Nov even some time in December. On investigating it reveals few crow pairs found in nest building activity. 
In Kolhapur there is one hutment where most of dwellers are garbage and scrap metal collector. One season they found a nest of crow collapsed from tree. These people found metal pieces in nest. So they brought down all the nests and collect the metal readily available.  Once they know crow’s behaviors they started destroying their nest every season. The clever crow then changes its breeding season to cheat these people. One question appears in my mind why crow did not change their nesting ground. On investigation we found that the hutment and daily activity of people provide them constant supply food.
Once the crow change the season and found it is safe, then Koel has no alternative to sing in these months.
Why koel sings :Koel male sings for marking its territory and same time to allure female.  More it sings loudly and long time more chances of gating mate.
We have discussed when and where.
One thing I noticed Koel prefer nest of house crow to lay eggs than Jungle crow. It is conclusion when we use to see house crow feeding Koel chicks, and also inspecting ground below crow nest we found died chicks which are of House Crowl. Cuckoo always pushes out eggs and chicks of host bird.
I did not know when and where this association of House Crow and Koel came in to existence. We all know house crow is associated with human settlement all over the world where house crow finds. History of human settlement does not go back 30 to 40 thousand year to the most.
It may possible the association is much more old, once crow come to stay with human settlement for many reasons Koel then has to accept new habitat but to survive.
I welcome any observations regarding relation of crow and koel.

No comments: