Look Who Was Invited To Lunch Next Door!

With the exodus of our neighbours to pastures fruitier, the mango season has officially come to an end. 
That sadly means curtains for the daily spectacle outside my kitchen window. But look who got invited to a final farewell feast!!
Indian Koel
A very, very shy and skittish female Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus), that had been skulking around for months, in search of suitable host nests (for her parasitic brood). The allure of that luscious, half eaten mango proved irresistible however, and she succumbed long enough for me to get an eyeful. 
A female Asian Koel outside my kitchen window!
Her inky black, macho mate thought it beneath his dignity to even grace my backyard with his presence, and remained on his perch on the gulmohar tree out front, summoning her every few minutes, with his raucously melodious whistle.
Male Asian Koel
And along with what seemed like a nursery full of male heirs, ruined my sleep all season! I know it sounds like sour grapes, but I really should be happy the mango season is finally over…

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on instagram.com/theurgetowander

152 thoughts on “Look Who Was Invited To Lunch Next Door!

  1. Great shots, Madu. It’s too bad that you had to loose sleep because of those characters. Hope you are getting more sleep now. -Max-

    1. Ah, I exaggerate a bit of course Max 🙂 One does get used to their calls after a while. It is only if you awaken in the wee hours of the morning, that it gets impossible to shut out the cacophony.

    1. I had never seen a female before Keira, and the male only fleetingly! The mango tree is introducing me to a lot of our native fauna 😉

      1. isn’t it wonderful when you find something in your own backyard, so to speak. Makes the world both more wonderful & the once homely suddenly exciting and special 🙂

  2. Beautiful! You are lucky, I see that they are very shy. After the mango, I hope you get some rest. “After the mango” sounds like a poem or song, huh?
    Thanks for sharing these two!

    1. Ha ha it does sound like a song!
      That was literary licence Patti…and a bit of sour grapes as well! I would really rather the mango season lasted all year 🙂 Thank you for stopping by to share your thoughts.

      1. I tasted mangos for the first time in Hawaii this past winter and loved them. Then I tried one from a grocery store here in Washington state…blah!
        Happy mango eating :>) and bird watching and hail to literary license!

  3. Thank you, Madhu – you sent me on a scouting trip. Doesn’t nature present incredible creatures? I’ve heard one cuckoo – while visiting the Isle of Skye in Scotland. It was distant, but it wakened me. But what a delight to read about the Asian Koel and learn about their sneaky behaviour! Imagine the babies first sounding like their adopted parents…

    1. Had no idea about those evolutionary adaptations until I researched brood parasites Amy!! In fact I witnessed this particular bird being chased by crows on several occasions! The parrots seemed friendly enough. But then, the likelihood of the koel fledglings resembling their babies is remote 😀

  4. Great shots of a beautiful bird. Lucky you having them so close and happy you the mango season is over…

    So this is maybe a relative of our cucko’s then? They don’t look that different really, but this one is much darker in colour.

    Shy, very shy – in fact I have only seen them flying high up in the air. Their cuckoing is among the first signs of spring up here north.

    1. They herald spring here too Ann Christine. But they used to be fleeting visitors earlier. This year, I can still hear the odd call, so long after the other avian visitors have left!!

  5. Hello Madhu
    What a well dressed bird, secretarial to look at and so quite intelligent I would think.
    It’s a cuckoo you say. Is it migratory like our cuckoo which migrates to west Africa once its darstardly act is done. I note your cuckoo has horizontal striped tail. Our cuckoo has the same, thpugh fainter in colour but a much less decorous body decoration.
    Fabulous photos… I could just eat a mango.

    1. Hubby thinks they are ugly birds. They do have a sneaky, slinky gait, or perhaps I am judgmental, having read up on their behavior 🙂
      No more mangoes here sadly, and I lie when i say I should be happy the season is over!

  6. Beautiful photos. Great that you captured both the female and the male.

    I do miss mangoes. A restaurant owner gave us a few of his smaller, sweeter Thai mangoes – just wonderful.

    1. Thank you Judy. I was lucky to have caught the male at all. He was the more elusive of the two, even if he made sure he was heard loud and clear! These mangoes weren’t really all that good, and probably why they were left unharvested for my feathered friends! But the mangoes in the market this year were unbelievably sweet. Am going to miss them more than ever before 🙂

  7. Ah lucky you to have such wonderful guests. It’s lovely when the little critters come and pay us a visit isn’t it? We have a fair bit of wildlife in our back garden too, but nothing quite as exotic as your lovely birds. Gorgeous shots Madhu!
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend my beautiful friend 🙂
    Ishaiya

    1. Ah yes, I consider it an honour when they overcome their shyness and approach this close! Thank you Ishaiya. A happy weekend to you too 🙂

    1. They are striking birds indeed Debra. Although I have heard their call all my life, I had never seen one clearly!

  8. And mango season has just started here in Indonesia. 🙂 I bought several mangoes and had a mango and tofu pudding dessert with a friend yesterday. Anyway, those birds remind me of what I see everyday through the window in my room: sparrows, lizards, squirrels, and some other birds. Happy Sunday Madhu!

    1. Then I should remember to visit just after our season ends 🙂
      Strangely we never see any sparrows here these days! I much prefer them to our messy pigeons. Thanks Bama, have a great week ahead.

    1. She is, isn’t she? And very sharp. Took me a good couple of weeks to get her to drop her guard! She would usually fly off the moment i opened my window 🙂

    1. Just outside my kitchen window!!! The male from the balcony out front. They are very elusive and I was so excited to get a halfway decent shot 🙂

  9. Lovely photos for this challenge Madhu. Fruit trees always attract such an array of wildlife and insects that are beautiful during the day but I understand can be a bit annoying at night.

    1. Glad you do Dallas. Keeping my fingers crossed that our human neighbours don’t decide to ‘develop’ their property and chop off this tree. That would mean a dramatic change of luck 🙂

  10. The end of Mango season is always a sad thing not because we haven’t had enough mangoes but because a beautiful season is passing. 🙂

  11. hi Madhu,
    reading your article I couldn’t resist to remember permanently to nice meal, we had yesterday evening in an Indian restaurant – I ate grilled duck, very sharp, not middle sharp …

    1. Sounds great Frizz! We both had severe heartburn after a very spicy seafood meal in Mangalore this weekend. But boy was it good! 🙂

  12. A stunning guest indeed, Madhu. Though, as someone from a place where mangoes never grow, the very thought of a mango season overawes me!

  13. A colorful bird. Seeing it next to the mango creates a very pretty photo. Lucky you for capturing it. How odd that he male doesn’t have color and is black. Guess they fooled nature.
    YUM … those mangoes look delicious. I’ve had them in tropical islands and they are tasty. Here in Florida, they’re a bit sour.

    1. Thanks Dilip. These aren’t technically predatory birds, although they do look rather fierce. They are parasites that lay eggs in other birds’ – mainly crows – nests!!

  14. Funny how everything far away and almost unreachable seems so attractive to us, I envy, envyyy you for having a tree with mangos and such beautiful birds outside your window. I love the way you write Madhu, it’s very inspiring for me.
    Have a great new week. Big ♥ hug from far away
    Dina

    1. Wish I could send some mangoes over somehow!
      Appreciate the lovely compliment Dina! Thank you so much 🙂

  15. oh what a glorious farewell gift! your focus is excellent …. i know how difficult it can be to find your subject in a tree 🙂

  16. What lovely shots, Madhu! You are the best… imagine capturing that koel… My son has been on the lookout for that noisily melodious Mr. Koel all summer (my son claims he wants to shoot – with a ‘REAL BULLET!!!!!’ – the guy for yelling all day long, all summer, and still not getting his ‘female’!)…. 🙂

    Well! we have not spotted him, nor his elusive but magnetic mate. So, here’s for their last hurray outside your kitchen window!

    have a great week, and looking forward to September!

    1. He he he, they do seem to have proliferated this year!! Wonder how many baby crows were sacrificed in the process. Not that I am complaining.
      Thanks for your ever generous comments Meenakshi. As for September, keeping my fingers crossed and praying that my Taj jinx doesn’t mess up our plans all over again 🙂

  17. Madhu, What a gorgeous bird – unlike any I’ve ever seen. You surely do live in paradise … but I can understand why you’re glad that mango season is over! 🙂 All the best, Terri

    1. Thanks Teri.
      You couldn’t quite call Chennai paradise, but I am fortunate to have a lot of trees, and this one in particular, around our apartment block 🙂

  18. I think your photography is stunning. A stand out in the sea of blogs.
    Always excellent and a pleasure to see. We have no mango season in Pittsburgh.

  19. Awesome! Great catch, Madhu.
    And the most incredible surprise is when you annotated that this is your entry or focus.

  20. How I envy you having such lovely creatures right outside your window! Lovely writing and pictures, Madhu!

    1. Delighted that you enjoyed this Elisa. There isn’t much else that can be termed lovely around here! 🙂

    1. Thank you. I see you, or one of you, is part Indian! Did you live here long? I have been in the South all my life and this was my first sighting!! Until I got a closer look I thought this was a sparrow hawk 🙂

      1. Hi Madhu, am French Australian but born and raised in the South of India and Mr. Techno is South Indian – lived in India for the first 18 years of my life – amazing experience…

  21. I find both birds simply beautiful – and probably due also to your photography. I wanted to say lucky you – but apparently the birds ruined your sleep

  22. Beautiful birds – both the male and female. I’m glad they stayed long enough for you to get these lovely photos, Madhu 🙂

    1. Thanks Marianne. The female kept coming back for that mango several times that day. The male never approached closer though, hence the poorer shot.

    1. Oh yes it is Lynne, even if it is for a few short months. I was delighted to meet your brazen avian friends 😀

  23. What an amazing capture Madhu! Nature at its finest right outside your window and the woman behind the lens…exquisite! 🙂

  24. Lovely captures of the birds. 🙂 I can’t help but chuckle at your elation about the mango season being over. Birds can truly be noisy and distracting.

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