Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Red Devil

The Crow Pheasant Centropus sinensis is a regular visitor to my garden. A couple lives in the Forest Department's nursery nearby and start their calls early in the morning. Yesterday was an unusually cold day with the mercury at 17C, and the bird seemed to be feeling the cold too.
Crow Pheasant which belongs to the Cuckoo family, is also known as Coucal. It is called Kembootha in Kannada, which means 'Red Devil'. The name must be because of its red eyes and the brick red wings.It is a clumsy bird and a weak flier, so there are many jokes about it. Clumsy people are often compared to the Kembootha, But it is far from clumsy in catching snakes. I have seen it catch a snake from a spot in my garden where I was working minutes earlier.
The couple which visit my garden synchronise their calls so that the garden seems to be resonating with their calls. They also make hissing sounds and harsh croaks when they come across crows or cats.
The nest of the Coucal is an untidy construction of twigs. There is a story that it uses the fabled Sanjeevini herb to constuct its nest. Sanjeevini herb is supposed to bring back people at death's doors to life.The Red Devil is always in danger of being robbed of his home.


  1. What an interesting post. I've never seen a Red Devil! Love it when I learn something new! Have a beautiful day!


  2. 17C must be a bit unusual for Bangalore. This Crow Pheasant seems to be a very friendly bird, and I could do with some snake catching birds in my garden too. Except for the snake catching part, the bird mirrors me a lot in nature/habit:-)

  3. We get Coucals here too, although the ones that live around here have slightly different colouring. They are indeed clumsy birds, especially when they're trying to take off and fly away quickly!

    I love watching the Coucals here ... they race about dragging their long tails around. It's great to see another Coucal from your part of the world. Great shots.

  4. This red devil is new to me! Luckily the bird saved you from snake attack! It's good to have them around!

  5. I haven't seen this bird before. Great shots, especially the second one. Good that you have a couple visiting your garden...snakes...yikes!

  6. Sylvia, I have learnt many new things from reading blogposts too.
    Green Thumb: 17C is not unusual, but the maximum was also low at 20C.
    Bernie, I loved your post on the Coucals you find in Australia.
    Malar, yes, I consider them my friends:)
    Kanak, snakes are common in our suburb, as humans have come and occupied snake territory now.

  7. Hello,
    Please go to Google help and search for:
    How do I adjust the photo size of the header photo?
    Hope this helps,
    Love your bird picture:)

  8. Saw this bird couple of times in our neighbourhood. Was wondering what it was. Now I know!

  9. Red is it an endangered species? I've never seen this one before and I wonder how clumsy can it be :D

  10. Bonita e interessante postagem! Aprendi algo novo!

  11. Gisela, thanks for your tip.
    Radha, it is quite common all over India.
    Fini, wecome and thanks for your visit. No, it is not endangered.
    Miriam Luiza, Welcome and thanks for stopping by.

  12. The picture of the shrubs and trees .... ah! Sweet Nostalgia! Reminded me of the "BengaLooru" i grew up in. It was truly a garden city back then unlike the concrete jungle :( that we see today

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