Lesser Coucal drying feathers

posted in: Feathers-maintenance | 3

While driving along a dirt road, Chris Lee a.k.a. chrisli023 came across a strange looking bird. It was simply sitting by the road with its feathers looking disheveled. He took out his trusty camera and recorded the sight. The bird just looked at him then calmly walked into the undergrowth.

The funny-looking bird was a Lesser Coucal (Centropus bengalensis), acting very unlike any coucal Chris is familiar with. On his drive back along the same road, he came across the same coucal sitting by the road. This time, it acted like any coucal would – it immediately ran into the bush.

Members of the cuckoo family (Cuculidae) that include malkohas and coucals, have delicate plumage that tends to get wet easily. Thus they need to dry their feathers by sunning themselves after rain or after foraging among wet vegetation. They usually dry themselves on a high perch with their wings spread and tail fanned and the back feathers raised to expose the skin to the sun.

Check out our earlier posts on the malkoha sunning HERE: 1, 2 and 3.

Payne, R.B. (1997). Family Cuculidae (cucoos). Pp.508-607 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. eds. Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 4. Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Barcelona: Lynx Editions.

This post is a cooperative effort between NaturePixels.org and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

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  1. bengalensis

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