Asian Koel (Koha)
bird is regarded as the informer of the start of the new year season in
Sri Lanka. From late March to late August this bird sings its “Cuckoo
Cuckoo” sound; and its singing peaks in mid April when the new year is
in full swing. The Koha and the Sri Lankan new year are synonymous
because people call this bird the “New Year Bird” or Avurudu Koha in
Sinhala.The male is black in colour and slightly larger than the
female.There is a local belief that the Koel does not build a nest to
lay its eggs. Instead it lays the eggs in the nest of the crow. The crow
thinks all the eggs are its own and protects them with great care. Even
after hatching the crow is unable to distinguish between its own
offspring and that of the Koel's as the tiny birds look very much alike.
After weeks of feeding, the crow realises that the Koel is not its own
and chases it away from the nest. By this time, the Koel is fully grown,
able to fly and survive on its own.