The marvellous bird shown in the photograph below is apparently a Pheasant Coucal (also known as a Swamp Pheasant). You would think, at least from the perspective of a nominative determinist that it would be a pheasant, and yet it is not. It is in fact a member of the cuckoo family. 

This is the Pheasant Coucal I encountered the other day
A Pheasant Coucal....or is it?


Unlike a cuckoo however, it lives in a nest on the ground and doesn’t do the whole “kill your children and steal their identity” thing. That is because Pheasant Coucal babies are totally freaky and no one would believe they gave birth to one of them for even a second. Even stupid birds are not that stupid.

That is not a hat, it is growing there.
That is not a hat! It is growing there!


The ground based nest of the not a pheasant Pheasant Coucal is just big enough to go over the top of the adult bird with their head and tail sticking out each end. This is an extremely silly bird, that creeps about like a cat, flies badly, says “booop boop booop” but only in the summer, has mutant babies and lives in a comedy nest.

Here is one we prepared earlier.


An actual Pheasant Coucal
An adult Pheasant Coucal

The very sensible Jason Wilson who commented on yesterday’s post suggested it was a Pheasant and he was right. Well done Jason. He also said that “The best thing about them is that when they travel downhill quickly they can’t quite keep their footing and just sort of roll.”

This is very funny and lends further credence to the “comedy bird” theory. 

Christine Johnson suggested I was lost and that it was possibly a rock dove pigeon or some laundry. Both quite plausible but no….

Anyway, the Pheasant Coucal was having a lovely time and so am I.

P.S.I borrowed the photo of the adult (the good one) off Tom Tarrant an internationally renowned twitcher and bird photo guy but I couldn’t find an email address for him. If anyone sees Tom, please let him know I would like to speak to him about it. The photo of the mutant baby Coucal is from the very brave Ibsut on Flickr.

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