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Do you hear more bird song now? The quiet of the lockdown during breeding season means they can communicate with mates further away It is a familiar, unmistakable melody. Starting with a softer ku..oo ku..oo… it rises gradually to a crescendo. This is the Asian male koel, serenading the female which responds with a shriller kik… keek… keek. Love is in the air for koels and the COVID-19 lockdown is helping fuel the romance. “During the breeding season, koels sing lustily, at midnight, 2 am, 3 am…,” says Bengaluru-based Ashvin Vishwanathan, Research Associate at Nature Conservation Foundation. “When there is less noise, the mating songs the male koel sings reaches female koels farther away.” With far less ambient pollution, and human interference, their mating calls are louder and clearer than ever before. AM Aravind says now he knows why the Yellow-billed Babblers are called silamban in Tamil. “I noticed how their call sounds just like the silambam: kala kala kala during silambattam or stick fighting, a form of martial arts,” says the birding enthusiast from Madipakkam. Aravind says he has been noticing different species of birds around his house engaged in courtship. “They flap their wings and perform a […]

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