One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The common hawk cuckoo of India and Sri Lanka, which has a monotonous and maddeningly persistent call.
Cuculus varius, family Cuculidae
- ‘There are more than 216 bird species in Mudumalai, and over a period of several hours I spotted a wealth of fowl, including hoopoes, magpie and Indian robins, sunbirds, brainfever birds, and cuckoos.’
- ‘The same could be said of the caged brainfever bird which Maya tries to set free.’
- ‘In other birds, e.g. partridge, shikra, brainfever bird, rosy starling, etc., a succession of rapid wing-beats is followed by a short glide on outstretched motionless wings - - free wheeling - in which the bird does not lose height.’
- ‘One's a Koel, calls repetitively, day and night: the pukka representatives of the raj called it the brainfever bird.’
- ‘So far I have seen wagtails, brahminy kites, shikras (a small hawk), the hawk cuckoo also known as the brainfever bird, green bee-eaters, metallic blue kingfishers, redwhiskered bulbuls, hoopoes and, last but not least, the Indian great horned owl.’
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