Male: rich grass-green plumage; hooked, heavy red beak; deep red shoulder-patch; rose-pink collar and black stripe from lower mandible to collar distinctive. Female: smaller and lacks the collar and black stripe. Yellow under tail in both sexes. Both small flocks and large gatherings; feeds on fruiting trees in orchards and on standing crops, often causing extensive damage; strong flier; roosts along with other birds at favoured sites.
Sexes alike. Glossy bluish-black plumage; chestnut wings; blackish, loose-looking, long, graduated tail. Female somewhat bigger than male. Solitary or in pairs; moves amidst dense growth, fanning and flicking tail often; clambers up into trees, but is a poor flier, lazily flying short distances.
Male: metallic-black plumage; greenish beak and crimson eyes. Female: dark brown, thickly spotted and barred white; whitish below, dark-spotted on throat,
barred below. Solitary or in pairs; arboreal; mostly silent between July and February; fast flight.
Common Hawk Cuckoo
Sexes alike. Ashy-grey above; dark bars on rufescent-tipped tail; dull white below, with pale ashy-rufous on breast; barred below. Young birds broadly-streaked dark below; pale rufous barrings on brown upper body. Solitary, rarely in pairs; strictly arboreal; noisy during May–September; silent after rains.
Sexes alike. Black above; noticeable crest; white in wings and white tip to long tail feathers diagnostic in flight; white underbody. Young birds, seen in
autumn, are dull sooty-brown with indistinct crests; white areas dull fulvous. Solitary or in small parties of 4 to 6; arboreal; occasionally descends to ground to feed on insects; arrives just before SW monsoon by end of May; noisy and active, chasing one another; mobbed by crows on arrival.
Sexes alike. Elongated central tail feathers. Greenish above, with faint blue wash on wings; bluish rump, tail diagnostic; yellow upper throat-patch with chestnut throat and upper breast; slightly curved black beak, broad black stripe through eye. The very similar Blue-cheeked Bee-eater M. persicus (31cm) has a dull-white and blue-green cheek-patch. In good light, the greenish rump and tail help identification. Usually small flocks, frequently in vicinity of water; launches short, elegant flights from wire or tree perch; characteristic flight, a few quick wingbeats and a stately glide.
Sexes alike. Bright green plumage; red-brown wash about head; pale blue on chin and throat, bordered below by black gorget; slender, curved black beak; rufous wash on black-tipped flight feathers; elongated central tail feathers distinctive. Small parties; perches freely on bare branches and overhead telegraph
wires; attends to grazing cattle, along with drongos, cattle egrets and mynas; also seen in city parks and garden; launches graceful sorties after winged insects; batters prey against perch before swallowing.
Speckled black and white plumage diagnostic; black nuchal crest; double black gorget across breast in male. The female differs in having a single, broken breast gorget. Solitary, in pairs or in small groups; always around water, perched on poles, tree stumps or rocks; hovers when hunting, bill pointed down as wings beat rapidly; dives fast, headlong on sighting fish; batters catch on perch; calls in flight. The Crested Kingfisher Megaceryle lugubris of Himalayan streams and rivers can be identified by larger size (41cm), larger crest and white nuchal collar.
Sexes alike. Bright blue above, greenish on wings; top of head finely banded black and blue; ferruginous cheeks, ear-coverts and white patch on sides of neck; white chin and throat and deep ferruginous underbody distinctive; coral-red legs and blackish beak. Solitary or in scattered pairs; never found away from water; perches on pole or overhanging branch; flies low over water, a brilliant blue streak, uttering its shrill notes; sometimes tame and confiding; dives for fish from perch; occasionally hovers over water before diving.
Sexes alike. Chestnut-brown head, neck and underbody below breast; bright turquoise-blue above, often with greenish tinge; black flight feathers and white wing-patch in flight; white chin, throat and breast distinctive; coral-red beak and legs. Solitary or scattered pairs atop overhead wires, poles and tree-tops;
frequently found far from water; drops on to ground to pick up prey.